I'm "one of the lucky ones," which means I have health care coverage. Though I pay more for insurance through COBRA every month than I do for my half of our mortgage, I'm grateful to have it. There are more than 790,000 people in this state (roughly 47 million in the country) who aren't so lucky. I try not to think about what happens when my COBRA runs out (you can have COBRA for 18 months).
Yesterday I went to a rally at the state capitol to encourage the Colorado legislature to act now on universal health care, rather than wait to see who gets in the White House and what they do once they get there.
A woman named Regina spoke. She too is "one of the lucky ones." She has health insurance through COBRA. Except, Regina has stage 4 breast cancer, which means the treatments that are extending her life come at the cost of basic necessities for her and her husband. I believe she said half their monthly income goes toward her health costs. As a woman standing said next to me said, "It's a crime." With the energy and time she has left, Regina works hard advocating for health care reform and universal health care hoping to leave a better system for her son.
I suspect most folks who read this blog agree that health care is in a state of crisis in this country. But just in case you don't, check out this story from 60 Minutes, which talks about a physician's charity organization that has been delivering care to Third World countries and now finds that it's needed in this country. In Tennesee, people slept outside in 20-degree weather the night before the clinic opened, hoping to get a spot in line! (Lack of health care anywhere in the world is a crime and a shame, but in a country that has wealth, it's especially sinful that we can't guarantee this basic human right.)
I am not well-versed on policy enough to argue for or against single-payer care. But I have to say from the way Gov. Ritter so quickly dismissed it yesterday and urged a slower approach (how much slower can it be??), it made me believe single-payer must be the right way to go. Anyway, Health Care for All Colorado was one of the sponsors of the rally, and they have a great website. I intend on learning more and advocating for this issue. As one of the lucky ones, it's my duty.
On a TOTALLY different note, doesn't this young man look Oliver-esque? He was so cute, I had to snap his picture!