I am of a generation of innovators, start-ups, self-employment, and gig-based employment. Statistically, I am less likely to work in an office or stay with the same employer for my entire career like my parents did. The gig economy is growing, but when people like me work as yoga teachers, entertainers, Uber drivers, and photographers, we are independent contractors denied our basic right to healthcare. Our employers are increasingly finding ways to cheat their way out of this responsibility by way of contract, short-term, and temporary work.
Aspiring entrepreneurs in the community who want to start a business, parents who want to stay home with their children, and those who need to leave an unfulfilling or unsafe work environment often feel tied to their current job by their health insurance benefits. It’s not OK for people to refrain from making decisions that are best for themselves for fear of risking the loss of their health insurance. Everyone deserves to be covered, regardless of their employment status.
Local officials always talk about “keeping the talent at home.” To that I respond: Give me a reason to stay. Give me a reason to stay here, when there are other states that are actively strengthening services like Medicare. Step up, and help create an environment that maintains, welcomes, and sustains young talent.
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I love Illinois. Bloomington is my home. That’s why I want our community to be on the front line of the fight for policy like Medicare for All.
Radiance Campbell, Normal