Sen. Warner calls for social insurance that stays with workers as they move through jobs

08.27.19 · The Roanoke Times

Sen. Mark Warner on Tuesday hit all the prescribed notes when talking with Roanoke-area health care, community and business leaders about fixing the Affordable Care Act, reining in escalating drug prices and halting surprise billing.

But when he was given the signal to wrap it up, Warner, D-Va., dropped two ideas that moved beyond the current political dialogue: designing a benefits system that attaches to a person, not a job, and creating tax credits that reward businesses that invest in workers.

“Let’s fix the Affordable Care Act and improve it, but we are in a time in our country and the economy that the old 20th-century notion that you get out of school and you go to work, and work at the same company for 35 years for your whole career — that world is gone,” he said. “My kids are going to have 10 different jobs before they are 35.”

Warner told the gathering hosted by Carilion Clinic that a third of the workforce does not have benefits, and that the country needs a new social contract, or social insurance, in which workers pay into a bucket of benefits that travels with them to cover health insurance, unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation.


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