Saturday, March 28, 2009

Health Care Overhaul: Divided We Fail

Over the last 16 months, I have experienced our health care/health insurance system from the inside. It's not pretty. There is so much wrong with health care in America, I doubt our present system can be repaired. I'm not the only one. I've found an organization that seems to have not just a handle on the problem, but some ideas and solutions for the future. The mission of Divided We Fail:

We believe that the opportunity to have access to health care and long-term financial security is a basic need that all Americans share. We believe it is the foundation for future generations.

We believe all Americans should have access to affordable, quality health care.

I watched a news show last night about the unscrupulous and often illegal tactics used by collection agencies to harass and intimidate people. Almost all the people they featured had ended up in financial ruin because of a health problem in the family. I don't believe the current economic crisis can be used as an excuse to procrastinate on this issue; just the opposite, in fact. We have what is basically an employer-funded health care system, and we are seeing first-hand the devastation when thousands and thousands of people lose the jobs that provided their access to health care.

President Obama spoke about the importance of health care reform in his address to the Joint Session of Congress on February 24th:
...we must also address the crushing cost of health care.

This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes. In the last eight years, premiums have grown four times faster than wages. And in each of these years, one million more Americans have lost their health insurance.

...I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.
He's got a lot on his plate, but I'm ready to hold Obama's feet to the fire on this.

Go, read, sign up, and spread the word.

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