Letters to the Editor

Job dilemma

November 6, 2009


To the editor:

Regarding health care reform: I give up. I really do. Keep the system we have now. It’s fine.

This is why. As I near the completion of my Ph.D. in chemistry, I should be excitedly combing over my opportunities. Despite the economy, they still exist for me, but there is one problem: the health care problem. Industry positions that are available to me will cost me one-fourth of my salary. (Insurance, co-pays, medicine not covered by the plan that my job offer provides, can really add up).

In academia, the post-doctoral positions have such awful health care plans that I might as well be Dr. Fries With That. It’s better for my children that we stay poor enough to remain on public assistance until they are grown. No matter which way I do the math, the only method of ensuring that my children receive what little health care they need is to be Dr. Unemployed. I guess I’ve solved my health care problem. Now I just need to get food, clothing, shelter.


devobrun 8 years, 6 months ago

Believe it or not, there was a time when people who received PHDs got real jobs.....at oil companies or textile companies, or Dow-Corning, or...

Not any more. Dow was sued out of existence. Textile lives in China now. And oil company demons try to lay low and simply produce oil now. Their need for chemists has diminished.

These companies paid well and provided good benefits.

Post doc means that you didn't learn much in school so now you have to learn how to work. Post doc is indentured servitude.

Our economy may be bad, but our education system and employment system is really bad.

When I graduated with a PhD, I had already been running a company for 18 months. I was president and I had good benefits. Couldn't do it today because starting a company is a mess of regulations, red tape and lawsuits.

Your bad luck is that you now live in a country that is run by its government. Just wait a while and insurance will be given to you by that government. We are in a transition period from free-market to "managed" employment and production. Within 20 years, every service and production of goods will be government controlled. Your salary, benefits, hours, duties, etc. will be proscribed.

Good luck and have fun with that new PhD.

rtwngr 8 years, 6 months ago

Well, boo hoo. So you will have to pay for healthcare like the rest of us. Who told you that you were entitled to pay what you think is a fair price or better yet, obtain something free? Grow up.

notajayhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

You'd think someone with a PhD would know the difference between healthCARE and health insurance. It's too bad Ms. Toumi isn't bright enough to figure out the problem is what healthCARE costs, not getting someone else to pay for it.

Many years ago, a couple of years out of high school, I was a chemistry major. I didn't have to get all the way to a doctorate to figure out that wasn't going to make me much money and that a change in major was in order.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

If 3 million healthy insured dropped their policies in the next two weeks not only would they save thousands of dollars the insurance industry would faint in disbelief that this many people actually are awake and give a damn.

Sooner or later another few million would do the same. Suddenly all of america would realize the medical insurance business has been doing nothing but making tons and tons of profit by way of fear mongering.

At that point all would see that america could have insurance at a much much lower rate such as 225 a month for the best coverage in the world that includes the entire family.

Makes dollars and sense to me. More money to invest smart instead of supporting high rollin executives and shareholders.

Maybe get on with that home improvement with cash instead of borrowing from the bank.....just maybe.

Maybe go to Jamaica for a few weeks instead of supporting high rollin executives and shareholders.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

The nations consumers could have excellent National Health insurance for all if one would remove: elected officials as shareholders special interest campaign funding the insurance industry recklessly spending health care dollars to bribe votes the news media offering misinformation ( their large advertising revenue is at stake)

Remember it is the most expensive medical insurance in the world that denies care and/or cancels coverage after taking ones money for years and years. National Health Insurance for All would not allow such arrogance

BTW there is no free health insurance on the table. With National Health Insurance most everyone contributes to the pie. So with that in mind cost of insurance goes down considerably.

Not only that National Health Insurance eliminating the following CERTAINLY reduces the cost of medical insurance in a BIG way.

How will HR 676 and ONLY HR 676 reduce costs by $400 billion annually? • Eliminates industry high dollar bureaucracy • Eliminates obscene profits • Eliminates high corporate salaries • Eliminates advertising Eliminates billions in over charges • Eliminates sales commissions • Eliminates high dollar Shareholder dividends • Eliminates Special interest campaign dollars Eliminates Golden parachutes

In general eliminates reckless spending of YOUR health care dollars

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

The republican party are masters at putting millions upon millions upon millions of people out of work. All they do with a remarkable degree of consistency is wreck the economy,initiate huge movements of shipping jobs abroad aka the Reagan-Bush Global Economy and try to wreck social security and medicare.

Is there a definite pattern? Absolutely!

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Home Loan Scandal http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  2. The Bush/Cheney Home Loan Scandal http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  3. What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

  4. Why did GW Bush Lie About Social Security?( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion and wreck the economy) http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0505orr.html

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 6 months ago

"Industry positions that are available to me will cost me one-fourth of my salary."

How dare you assume you have the right to demand that other families pay your way. You are entitled to nothing, Ms. Toumi.

Shane Garrett 8 years, 6 months ago

I read this as a snide blog against the insurance companies.

jafs 8 years, 6 months ago


Don't you think that 25% of one's salary is a bit much to pay for health care costs when one is insured?

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 6 months ago


It's none of my business. With all respect, it's none of your businesss (unless you're a friend or a family member of Ms. Toumi's. In that case, feel free to help subsidize her living expenses.) And it's certainly none of the government's business to determine what's "a bit much."

Time for the entitlement mentality and equal-outcomes mentatility to die a quick death.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

There are no entitlements on the table. Never have been. MY Tax dollars covering MY medical insurance is certainly no entitlement.

Those are MY hard earned tax dollars which would be better spent on National Health Insurance = better bang for the buck by a long shot.

And my health insurance tax dollars would not be finding their way to a political campaign.

And my health insurance tax dollars would not be finding their way to a golden parachute

And my health insurance tax dollars would not be finding their way to support advertising

And my health insurance tax dollars would not be finding their way to support an inefficient corporate operation

And I will have money left over to spend on flowers,christmas,home improvements,tires or a night on the town.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 6 months ago

And WE could save tax dollars galore on the USD 497 school budget.


Following national trends, each year a larger share of the budget of the Kingston City School District (Ulster County, NY) is needed to meet health benefit costs, which have nearly tripled over the last ten years.

In 2007-2008 the Kingston City School District paid out $65.6 million in wages and $22.6 million for health benefits, including basic hospital, medical, dental and vision care and a 1.45% payroll tax for Medicare.

Under HR 676, the school district would have paid only $3.9 million for health benefits, resulting in a savings of $18.7 million for the 2007-2008 school year.

Under HR 676, the average school district employee with an annual wage of $44,700 would pay only $123/month in a new 3.3% payroll tax—eliminating co-pays and deductibles.

The savings could: • support 200 new teachers • fund major capital improvements to every school • reduce class size and provide a teaching assistant for every class

The Kingston City School District is just one of 87,850 state and local government jurisdictions in the U.S.

Imagine the impact of replicating these savings over the entire country!

jaywalker 8 years, 6 months ago

Interesting take. The writer believes the only way to keep her family covered is to stay unemployed and thereby suck from the gubmint teat. 'Course, the 'gubmnt option' would/will also nudge a number of citizens to make the same decision; better to remain unmotivated 'cuz look at how much we'd lose.
Congrats on your success and I have no intention of belittling your career choice as I'm sure it's important. But there are a number of factors as to why or why not to pursue a certain career. Someone wants to be a shepherd, ditch digger, or a fire watcher, more power to 'em. Just don't come griping to me when you can't pay for all you want, particularly when you have kids.

mr_right_wing 8 years, 6 months ago

Here's what the libs/dems seem to be saying "We want this! Even though it isn't good enough for you, give it to us! We'll take anything at this point regardless of the consequences!!" Bad idea people, and you'll end up regretting that thinking one day.

...and why isn't this whole process concerning health control more public, more 'transparent'? Another promise Barry-boy made that he's broken!


notajayhawk 8 years, 6 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

"There are no entitlements on the table. Never have been. MY Tax dollars covering MY medical insurance is certainly no entitlement."

Then you don't need my money, do you, troll?

If you want to use YOUR money to pay for YOUR healthcare, myrtle, then do it, without insurance, without the government stepping in. Pay out of pocket. That way YOU are paying for YOUR healthcare. If you want to pay your own way, why do you need to funnel the money through the government at all, praytell?

Brent Garner 8 years, 6 months ago

The LTE writer is complaining that 25% of her post education income would go to healthcare costs--insurance premiums, copays, etc. In my experience that is not unusual. Over the last 10 years I think I could confidently state that my healthcare costs, as defined by the LTE writer, have been at least 25% of my pre-tax income. Now, some would say that I should then welcome a government option but I have no confidence in the government's ability to actually do what it says. Why? Take medicare as an example. Each and every year the government raises the deductible and increases the premium on medicare. So, each and every year retirees depending on medicare are spending more out of pocket money than they did the year before. Does this sound like a well run program to you? It doesn't to me! Then there's medicaid. The costs of the program in terms of money spent have rocketed well beyond what anyone ever expected it to be. In fact, each and every year every state struggles to meet the state portion of medicaid. Why? Because the costs keep going up, and up, and up. So, no, I do not believe that a government option would be successful in deliverying affordable universal healthcare.

jafs 8 years, 6 months ago


The point of the letter (which I believe to be sarcastic in tone) is that if one is better off being unemployed than employed, something's wrong with the system.

I'm not sure what insurance plan the letter writer has looked at, but 25% of income seems quite high to me.

Banks generally recommend not spending more than that on a mortgage payment, for example.

The reason that the government is getting involved is that many people find it harder and harder (and some impossible) to get decent affordable heath care.

I guess some of us care about that, and others don't.

rtwngr 8 years, 6 months ago

Merrill, your tax dollars will find their way to buying bigger government. There is nothing efficient about the way government is run.

All of your assumptions on the healthcare legislation is taken on faith. You have nothing empirical that can prove the bill will do what all of you libs hope it will do.

I, however, can show you example after example where confiscatory taxes, such as what this bill that you so ardently defend contains, are regressive on economies wherever they are tried. It's like we are about to have a head on collision and you libs are saying, "Step on the gas and drive through it!" It isn't going to work.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.