If the uninsured were an organized lobby group, Congress would have a tough time trying ignore their demands. The recession has contributed to the increased numbers of insured, pushing the numbers to over 50 million.
So what’s the problem? Health care, accessing it and paying for it, are still regarded as private issues, rather than ones of public debate. But what cannot be stressed enough is that health care affects us all. According to one writer of the Associated Press, “People who lose coverage often struggle alone instead of turning their frustration into political action”.
Health Care for America NOW!, (HCAN) a grassroots organization that advocates for quality, affordable health care for all, plans to bring more than 15,000 individuals to Washington, D.C. to lobby on the behalf of the uninsured. Campaign director Richard Kirsch notes that many of the uninsured do not have the opportunity to partake in events such as the one being organized by HCAN due to fiscal and familial restraints, which is why it is important to have those numbers represented in health reform activism.
With a presidential administration committed to health care reform and advocates across the country working for quality, affordable, comprehensive and accessible health care–the time to act is now!
The American Cancer Society and Kaiser Family Foundation issued a report yesterday on 20 patients who have been diagnosed with cancer or other serious illnesses and the difficulties they have had in accessing affordable health care. The report, Spending to Survive: Cancer Patients Confront Holes in the Health Insurance System, identifies 5 major gaps that cancer patients experience after they have been diagnosed.
First, caps on benefits can lead to high out-of-pocket expenses. Second, employer-based health coverage may not cover catastrophically high health costs. Third, finding an adequate individual plan can be difficult, both for those recently diagnosed and for those in remission. Fourth, high-risk pools are either not available in some states or not affordable. Finally, the waiting periods and eligibility restrictions leave many patients in a period of limbo, in which they are without affordable coverage while waiting to be access public programs.
Raising Women’s Voices (RWV) is developing a policy framework with principles for creating a health care system that meets the health care needs of women and our families. The Framework is based on a vision of health care articulated by women. We are also developing a Tool Kit to use in our work mobilizing and engaging women leaders from diverse constituencies in health care reform at the local, state and national levels.
Check out our resources page;