Raising Women’s Voices

Framing Health Care Reform in reference to economic recession and unemployment

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on December 8, 2008

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10.3 million Americans were unemployed last month, which is up 36% from the beginning of the year and 71% from January 2001.

Robert Pear of the New York Times points out how these days of economic recession and high unemployment may actually plant the seed for more urgent reform of the American health care system.  In such an employer-based health care system as ours, heavy job loss makes the long-existent, deeply entrenched inadequacies of the insurance system more immediately and widely felt by middle class families “with strong ties to the work force.”

“This shows why — no matter how bad the condition of the economy — we can’t delay pursuing comprehensive health care,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio. “There are too many victims who are innocent of anything but working at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

In the American political climate, problems that affect hardworking middle class families are the problems that elected officials are going to be pressed to alleviate.  While it is important to reflect on the value judgments such political realities are based on, we must also consider what these conditions could mean in regards to politically strategic advocating for comprehensive health care reform.  How can we, as health care advocates, frame the issue right now, to ensure something productive comes out of these unfortunate times of economic hardship?

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