Jon Stewart, Director, LEO Center
Stewart said health care reform must involve more than providing coverage for the uninsured through public or private insurance.
“One trip to the emergency room can be financially ruinous, even to a person with insurance,” said Stewart who oversees the Leo Center’s Heartland Medical Clinic, which provides primary health care services and medication based on a person’s ability to pay.
“The broader question really becomes how do we as a country want to choose to allocate the health care resources that we have. Is medical care just another commodity that goes only to those who can afford it?”
Stewart said that he would like to see more funding go toward prevention and wellness.
“As it stands, most people don’t think much about their health until something goes wrong. That’s not health care. That’s sick care,” he said. “So in many ways, a significant part of the current national debate boils down to a personal choice around the question, ‘What am I doing to get and remain healthy?’”
People’s health, he said, is not determined by what happens in Washington, D.C., but by the little choices people make each day. At the same time, even if a person makes all the right choices, Stewart said it’s likely they will still need some medical care. And the best solution should ensure that treatment is affordable.
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