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Why A Health Care Reform Is Needed Now!
by Ernest Barteldes
A few years ago, a close friend of mine was unfortunate enough to have suffered an automobile accident shortly before her job benefits kicked in. She was rushed to an emergency room and treated for her cuts and bruises. Though luckily she didn't have any serious injuries, a few weeks later she received a hospital bill for thousands of dollars. Not too long ago, I also ended up at a Staten Island ER with a massive toothache. Even though I was fully insured at the time, the hospital still sent me a $ 130 bill (what they called a co-pay) for what was basically a few minutes' attention, a Vicodin pill and a prescription for powerful painkillers. Until recently, another person I know worked for a small business that did not provide health benefits for their employees, which meant she had to pay for every exam, doctors' visits and other need even though she went to a clinic that supposedly provided affordable services for those unable to pay for insurance out of their pockets. These are only a few examples of stories that prove that we drastically need to fix this country's health system. The way things stand today, countless individuals are going bankrupt because they are unable to pay for the hefty fees imposed to the uninsured. Thousands others die or go without medical attention because they cannot afford to pay for said services. This affects – in a way or another – all of us who are living in the United States today. The President has sent a health care reform proposal to Congress, and there is a fierce debate over it going on right now. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/us/politics/23obama.html?_r=1&th&emc=th . Unfortunately, several right-wing Republicans are using this as an opportunity to regain control of Congress during the midterm elections – basically going against Pres. Obama the same way that they damaged Clinton fifteen years ago over the exactly same issue. Republican editor William Kristol actually wrote that this is the time to “go for the kill” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/20/bill-kristol-this-is-the_n_241046.html to try and unbalance his Presidency.
If you ask me, this is utterly irresponsible. We need health care reform now. This country needs to step up and protect the millions of American taxpayers who go without proper care. We cannot allow the fat cats at the insurance companies to reap huge profits at the expense of the people. Yes, we are a capitalist country and all. But we are not savage. It is time to take action now, and there is something we can all do: we can contact our representatives in Congress and let them know how we feel. Once their offices are inundated with calls, letters and emails, they will understand that their necks will be on the line during the Midterm elections next year. Believe me, this is for our own good.