An Unnecessary Choice: Healthcare Or Your Dream Job
Author: Lauren Reynolds and Swetha Ampabathina, National Student Advocacy Committee (NSAC). NSAC brings together student advocates across the country to build support for and further Prescription Justice’s legislative and policy agenda to end the crisis of high drug prices. The NSAC authors are proudly responsible for their own content.
The phrase “when you do what you love you will never work in your life” is a saying that is often held as the standard when picking a job. So many individuals choose their jobs for the job description, the pay, or the location, but as the cost of health care rises, many feel stuck in a job they dislike in order to have the necessary health benefits.
It brings to question, how is it fair to force oneself to dread what they do for a livelihood simply for the sake of the health insurance coverage provided. How is it that the general norm has become a nightmare? A scenario in which even if you loathe the work you do, as long as you can purchase the prescription medications you need to survive, you stay with the company.
James, 21, feels “tied down” to his job as even searching for a new job may lead him to lose his coverage. He suffers from psoriatic arthritis, a form of inflammatory arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis. Without a monthly injection, James would be “crippled and covered in psoriasis.”
James is not alone in the struggle of balancing work life and health. According to a 2021 West Health and Gallup poll around 1 in 6 Americans whose job covers their primary health care are continuing their employment out of fear of losing their benefits. Among those making less than $48,000 a year, the fear is higher.
Around 158 million people receive health insurance and other benefits from their primary employer. In the last five years, the cost of health care premiums for a family of four has increased 22%. As costs continue to rise it is likely that the vast amounts of Americans who are remaining in jobs they dislike for health insurance coverage will only increase.
At only 21 years old James' health is forcing him to remain at his current job regardless of how he may feel about it. Without the coverage his job provides, he would be $8,000 a month out of pocket for just one medicine.
The cost of a simple injection taken monthly might seem outrageous, but this is the reality of so many individuals in America. Despite so many pleas by victims of the greediness of big pharma, no change seems to take place. Any bill brought to Congress tends to be at a stalemate when over ⅔’s of Congress is cashing in checks from the pharmaceutical industries. In order to combat the egregious effects that big pharma makes on healthcare legislation, it is important that every American stands up against big pharma.
Take action and call your congress member asking them to improve drug prices and stop these ridiculous price hikes in drug prices.
JOIN OUR ADVOCACY: Your voice matters: find your elected officials here by inputting your Zip Code. Additionally, you can find an advocacy toolkit that members of our Prescription Justice National Student Advocacy Committee (NSAC) have put together here.