The $15 an hour minimum wage was cut from the federal relief bill. Yet I wonder if a higher minimum wage is enough to cover the cost of living.  

When people are working, they should be able to afford healthy food, a safe and maintained home, clothing, supplies, needed technology, transportation to work and health care.  

The pandemic has amplified financial troubles for many folks, and we may be paying for some unexpected items. Yet, according to a January CNN report, only 39% of Americans can afford a $1,000 emergency. Many financial emergencies are much more expensive than that.  

One example is health care, and it’s not cheap.  For example, MNSure has a monthly rate for a silver plan for Stearns County in 2020 of $301.11. The plan’s deductible is $3,000, well above that $1000 dollar threshold, and I suspect many of us have a deductible higher than $3,000.  

The pandemic has hurt many families with the deaths of loved ones. The average cost for a funeral in the U.S. is $7,000-$9,000. An estimate for end-of-life care and funeral costs is $21,840 in Minnesota. 

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