McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State news

July 21, 2013

CRATER JOBS: When the government starts helping low-wage workers pay for health insurance next year, 6,704 Oklahoma cooks will be left empty-handed.

McALESTER — So will 6,154 cashiers, 4,572 waiters, 4,207 maids and housekeepers and 3,870 retail salespeople, an Oklahoma Watch data analysis shows.

They are among 185,815 uninsured Oklahoman workers whose annual incomes fall below the federal poverty level, making them ineligible for health insurance tax credits that take effect in January. Most of them also are ineligible to participate in SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s version of Medicaid, because it doesn’t cover working adults unless they have dependent children, and then only if they make less than about $5,000 a year.

The Oklahoma Watch analysis uses the most recent Census Bureau data to determine which occupations and employers have the largest number of uninsured working people who will remain stuck in the health care “coverage crater.”

The analysis shows that many hold low-wage jobs in construction, food service, retail establishments, janitorial firms, landscaping services and nursing homes—sectors responsible for some of the highest rates of job growth in recent years.

One of them is Christy Johnson, a single mother who works for minimum wage as a telecommunications customer service representative. Her employer doesn’t provide health insurance. She doesn’t think she could afford her share of the monthly premiums even if it did.

“No, I wouldn’t have a couple of hundred per month for that,” she said. Her 13-year-old daughter is covered by SoonerCare because she’s a minor, but Johnson doesn’t qualify. So she has come up with her own alternative health care plan to deal with occasional illness: “I take NyQuil.”

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State news
Seasonal Content
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.