Monday, February 1, 2010

Feb. 1: Phantom Of the Uninsured?

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Maybe it was all a dream, like the one Pam Ewing had about husband Bobby being dead on "Dallas," or like the one Bob Hartley had about the show "Newhart."

Sixty million Americans partially or totally without health insurance? Can't be.

Millions of those Americans discriminated against by insurance companies because of pre-existing conditions? Nah.

Last year's vision of President Barack Obama, both parties in Congress, health insurance companies and medical professionals ready to work on a viable plan? Just a mirage.

That's the case, isn't it, because of all those supposed polls that say health insurance isn't a priority for Americans these days?

What is all too real is that Congress managed to turn a viable plan rotten, and is cowering in fear.

What is all too real is that Obama, in trying to avoid the mistakes President Bill Clinton made on health insurance reform, went too far in the opposite direction - and didn't consult enough with grass-roots groups, who are usually the primary builders of successful legislation.

What is all too real is that the high cost of health insurance is one reason Americans have trouble paying their bills - and are often choosing not to carry it.

What is all too real is continued discrimination against patients with cancer and other pre-existing conditions.

There is no phantom of the uninsured. The crisis continues to be all too real. Having America's elected leaders turn their backs on it - again - won't make it go away.

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