Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Health care for all

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!


Shauna Roberts said...

Politicians treat health care as a luxury (except for themselves; supposedly Congress has an excellent health plan) while I believe most of us think it's as basic as food and shelter. The ones making the rules about insurance have no idea how people with illnesses live.

Travis Erwin said...

Someday when I have sold a few novels and want to quit my day job it will be the need for heath insurance for me and my family that keeps me at he "day job".

I pray there will be an affordable alternative, otherwise we are all just indentured servants.

Carleen Brice said...

Shauna, That's what I hear too. Even the presidential candidates refer to the great plan they have.

Travis, I know. Health insurance is the reason so many middle-age folks are working at Starbucks and Wal-Mart...it ain't for the hourly salary! (If our system doesn't get better soon, I may end up doing the same myself.)

Sherry ~ Cherie ~ ms. herbes de provence said...

Glad you felt you had to join this -- health care needs to be affordable for everyone. Our system is so much different here in Canada -- it's not perfect but it's much better than what you have in the U.S.

And yes -- the guy does look Oliver-esque!!!

Sustenance Scout said...

Oh my, VERY Oliver!! Kudos to you on joining the demonstration. The US is certainly LONG overdue for universal healthcare. K.