I haven't had employer provided health insurance in almost 10 years. Most of the jobs I get are with smaller, locally-owned businesses that are undercapitalized and struggle to provide health insurance due to the skyrocketing costs of providing this benefit. I've often wondered what would happen if all of us, including professionals, banned together and said "We won't work unless health insurance is provided with the job." (Or the better option - the government provides it to everyone regardless of employment).
I just learned about a new group today call United Professionals, founded by Barbara Ehrenreich. Their mission is "... to protect and preserve the American middle class, now under attack from so many directions, from downsizing and outsourcing to the steady erosion of health and pension benefits. We believe that education, skills and experience should be rewarded with appropriate jobs, livable incomes, benefits and social supports."
Membership is just .10 per day. I am going to join. I hope others will consider it as well and that maybe we consider creating a Portland local.
You can check out the website at www.UnitedProfessionals.org