Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22: Does That Coughing Person Next To You Have Health Insurance?

By Sylvia Gurinsky

How many of the more than 1 million Americans diagnosed this year with the swine flu don't have health insurance?

That question is the reason this country needs health insurance reform. In how many cases has a lack of insurance prevented people with what is officially known as the H1N1/09 virus from getting treatment - which puts more people at risk?

See why reform is so important in this country?

In trying to avoid the "my plan first" mistakes President Bill and First Lady Hillary Clinton made more than 15 years ago, President Barack Obama may have veered too much in the other direction, leaving too many of the details up to Congress. That in itself is dangerous.

Obama probably won't get bills passed before the August recess of Congress - his original goal. But he still has time to correct the ship in order to get a plan passed this year.

Senator Edward Kennedy's excellent piece (written with Democratic Party strategist Bob Shrum) in this week's Newsweek on the need for a plan carries the case forward:

The myth that health insurance is supposed to be a business, not a necessity for all Americans, has gotten this country into serious trouble - in the economy and in public health issues.

If you have health insurance, think about that the next time you come in contact with someone who's sick.

Does that person have insurance?

Should that person have insurance?

The answer is yes.

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