The income umbrella (AP photo/Charles Dharapak)

The most visible critics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) are starting to move past the old rhetorical strategies (President Obama is a Marxist Maoist Manchurian candidate who is not actually his own mother’s son) to somewhat more sophisticated critiques.

Critiques such as — surprise! — the plans created by PPACA (that mammoth, hugely political bill that was probably actually crafted in the wee hours of the morning by lobbying firm computers that suddenly developed a malevolent, vengeful consciousness) might have, um flaws.

Like provider networks that can fit into a station wagon, and annual out-of-pocket spending maximums equal to the down payment for a small house.

Given that people are suddenly paying attention to the holes in major medical coverage, maybe this would be a good time for insurers and producers to remind consumers of some other important insurance protection holes, including the holes in the typical American worker’s income protection umbrella.

Full-time U.S. workers do actually get modest “universal” income protection from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, but that program has its own financing problems, and, even if Congress can get its act together and trim benefits or increase withholding taxes enough to make the program financially sustainable, SSDI barely provides enough benefits to pay for a decent cardboard box on a street corner with decent almsgiver foot traffic.

If consumers are leery of the idea of moving into a major medical plan that might have some troubling holes, why are so many content to leave protecting their income to a program that very clearly does have so many big, well-known holes?

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