Corrie Edwards, executive director, Kansas Health Consumer Coalition
Edwards said the current health system is unsustainable because of high costs and the inability for many to access health care.
“It’s outrageously expensive with increases in the 20 percent range almost every single year. When you think about how much we are paying for insurance right now, we already are tapped out and we can’t afford much more than we are already doing,” she said.
Edwards would like Congress to approve a public insurance plan that includes a sliding fee so middle- and lower-income families can afford it.
She said some lawmakers are worried that everyone will switch from private insurance to a public plan.
“I think people will stay where they are at if they are happy with their insurance, and this just gives all of those people in the state who don’t have insurance a chance to buy into a public plan.”
Her biggest fear is that nothing happens at the federal level.
“The nightmare scenario to this would be for the entire health reform bill to fall apart and people would have to wait another 15 years for the help that they need right now. … We cannot push this off on another generation of people.”
Edwards said people may be worried about spending $1 trillion on fixing the system, but she said the country is already spending it.
“Right now, we are paying billions and billions of dollars and we are getting crap. We aren’t getting anything right now,” she said.
Kansans weigh in on health care reform
- Have your say.
- Graham Bailey, vice president of public relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
- Rod Bremby, Secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Corrie Edwards, executive director, Kansas Health Consumer Coalition
- Jerry Kemberling, Unemployed, Lawrence
- Gene Meyer, CEO/president, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
- Marcia Nielsen, vice chancellor for public policy and planning, Kansas University Medical Center
- Sandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner
- Jon Stewart, Director, LEO Center
- Judy Bellome, executive director of Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care
- Dr. Alan Cowles, Social Security disability benefits advocate
- Marcia Epstein, director of Headquarters Counseling Center in Lawrence
- Dr. David Goering, medical director for Health Care Access
- Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care
- Dan Partridge, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department director
- Margie Wakefield, small business owner