Sunday, April 12, 2009

America's uninsured have not shown collective power

That is the title of a story that posted today on AOL. I have been uninsured for about 18 months now, since having to choose between having a full time job with health insurance and being a homeless person. I chose a place to live. National health care of a sort is an issue that I care deeply about. While I am not a lobbyist, I know how the process works. I have lobbied about various causes on several occasions, immigration, women's issues, homeless issues, gay rights, payday lenders and the like.

It is unfortunate that those of us who are not insured do not have the time, means and wherewithal to lobby effectively - we are simply too busy living life, holding one, two or three part time jobs in order to make ends meet.

Here is an excerpt from the article: "The number of uninsured has grown to an estimated 50 million people because of the recession. Even so, advocates in the halls of Congress are rarely the uninsured themselves. The most visible are groups that represent people who have insurance, usually union members and older people. In the last election, only 10 percent of registered voters said they were uninsured.

The grass-roots group Health Care for America Now plans to bring as many as 15,000 people to Washington this year to lobby Congress for guaranteed coverage. Campaign director Richard Kirsch expects most to have health insurance.

"We would never want to organize the uninsured by themselves because Americans see the problem as affordability, and that is the key thing," he said.

Besides, added Kirsch, the uninsured are too busy scrambling to make ends meet. Many are self-employed; others are holding two or three part-time jobs. "They may not have a lot of time to be activists," he said.

If you want to get involved with this issue such as I am going to now after reading this article, here are links to the White House, agencies and groups that might be helpful:

White House:
Health Care for America Now:
Commonwealth Fund:
Institute of Medicine:

Here is the link to the story:

We are clearly in need of health care reform in this country - those who have jobs that offer healthcare can stay insured and the over 50 million of us without insurance could "buy" into a cheap group plan. That way we would not have exhorbitant copays and we would not have to wait months to see a specialist. That is, of course, one person's opinion.

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