A few weeks ago I shared the story of my daughter Marisa leaving her current job to pursue new opportunities as a speech pathologist in a healthcare facility.The good news is that in less than three weeks she landed a new job as a speech therapist at a major healthcare facility in New Jersey.Of course, the wheels had been put into motion several weeks prior to leaving her last position as she had already been actively looking at different options.So once she had the interviews for her new position, the offer was forthcoming.And, as predicted, until Marisa finds a new apartment closer to her new job she will be returning home, along with all her belongings from her previous apartment.Our basement will now become a Goodwill center for about the fourth time.
But not a problem.Marisa’s new job is more aligned with her interests and pays better.Who can argue with that?However, more impressive is the benefits package she will be receiving, which she shared with my wife and me this past weekend.I was really blown away with the number of medical, dental, vision and prescription options available to her, as well as a matching 401K plan and a better than average number of paid personal, vacation and sick days.While not a benefits expert myself, my HR background has provided me with some understanding of the range of benefits most companies offer, and hers is what I felt offer some excellent options for someone making their way into the world of work for the first time, or for that matter, anyone returning to the workforce.
But the real point of my blog is that Marisa’s benefits package reminded me of all the press regarding healthcare in this country ranging from the healthcare reforms under the Obama administration (Obamacare)to the current controversy over Medicare and Social Security as we approach the upcoming presidential election.For us baby boomers who have contributed to funding Medicare and Social Security through our years of employment, the thought of these programs running out of funding can be disconcerting to say the least.But even more disconcerting to me is the future state of these programs, and healthcare in general, for my daughter’s generation.Without taking political sides, I do see a need for a major overhaul in how these entitlement programs (Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security)are administered — if not for my generation at least for my daughter’s.
For me, it all comes down to creating jobs.Most good companies provide their employees with benefits and many struggling small businesses want to provide benefits but the cost is too prohibitive.And frankly, the younger generation of workers today shows a greater flexibility in moving from one job to another when the opportunity presents itself, and in my mind would welcome any changes to Social Security or Medicare that made the administration and funding of these programs more cost effective.My own experiences as a recent recipient of Medicare and Social Security benefits has been an eye opener in terms of the wasteful processing of paperwork alone to make me believe the administration of these programs might be better off privatized.
The good news for our Five O’Clock Club members is that they are landing good jobs with good salaries and benefits.They will certainly not be a burden on our economy or any future entitlement programs that protect them in the future.To me, they are the proof we need to show that companies are hiring, and as more people return to the workforce there should be less dependency on healthcare reforms that are not only costly but can drive potential employers out of business.So while the current administration, and their opponents in the upcoming election, proclaim creating more jobs as central to their respective platforms, both sides seem misguided in haggling over the future of healthcare in this country including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while the real issue is jobs.
Now only if I can get those billing statements from the orthopedic who treated my tennis elbow a year ago to stop arriving in my mailbox (since it was covered under Medicare) and, to get Marisa’s furniture into a real Goodwill center and not into my basement, I will be a happy camper.