Mar 25, 2020
Sara and Misasha continue with their income inequality arc in
today’s episode, with a special focus on what happens when you’re
sick and poor.
Their recent exploration into income inequality issues is part
of their deep dive into election issues. If you haven’t yet
listened to the last couple of episodes, links are provided so that
you can have a greater understanding of the bigger picture.
Join Sara and Misasha in this journey into the lives of those
who are unable to take sick days when sick due to financial or
logistical hardships, and the potential fallout of working during
- Misasha shares a discussion from the “Neighborhood” app about
an obviously sick woman wearing a mask while working at a pharmacy
- There is no federal law that ensures all workers are able to
earn paid sick days in the United States.
- Sick days can be incredibly costly to those who become sick or
whose families depend on them to provide care in the event of an
- Taking needed sick time often means that workers have to choose
between going without pay to stay home, or must show up at work
sick and delay treatment for themselves or a dependent.
- Statistics show that if you’re earning more money, you are
better able to get paid sick days. Conversely, if you’re in a
low-wage position, you are less likely to receive paid sick
- For the average worker who does not have access to paid sick
days, the cost of taking unpaid sick time can make a painful dent
in the monthly budget for the worker’s household:
- Losing a half-day of work due to illness, the lost wages could
be equivalent to the household’s monthly budget for fruits and
- Losing 2 days of work due to illness, the lost wages could be
equivalent to a month’s worth of gas, thereby making getting to
work more difficult.
- Losing 3 days of work due to illness, the lost wages could be
equivalent to the entire grocery budget for the month or their
monthly utility budget.
- In the event of a lengthier illness, such as 7 days of unpaid
sick time, a worker could lose the equivalent of a monthly rent or
- Research shows that state laws providing the right to paid sick
days appear to be having a small but meaningful effect as the share
of workers who have access to paid sick time has increased,
particularly at the low end of the wage spectrum.
- Access to paid sick time for low-wage workers has increased
- Unequal access to paid sick days is just one part of the bigger
healthcare problem, as it highlights the problems of income
- Sara and Misasha discuss cancer treatment and the devastating
financial impact with or without health insurance.
- As the gap between the rich and poor grow, so does the gap in
- Possible solutions for managing health and equalizing the
- Some Democratic candidates are pushing for “Medicare for All”,
which is a way to get rid of the private insurance market and offer
insurance for everyone through a single-payer system.
- Two important questions to consider for the upcoming
Presidential election regarding “Medicare for All”: 1) How will we
pay for it? 2) How will it work?
- Sara and Misasha cover other considerations regarding “Medicare
for All” and what would happen to the private insurance
- Please vote!
Resources / Links:
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Episode 50: Why Aren't Black Kids Playing
Episode 49: Why Are We Talking About Income Inequality When The
Economy Is Strong?
10: Equal Pay Day: The Reality of Gender Parity