Monday, October 26, 2009

This Isn't Health Care

Last week, a long-time NOW member and friend received an e-mail titled, “Women must have real health insurance reform now.” She forwarded it to me with the following comment:

“Insurance reform? Who’s drinking the (i)nsurance compan(ies)’ Kool- Aid? Health insurance reform is another name for a gigantic taxpayer donation to the health care insurance corporations like the taxpayer donation to the too-big-to-fail financial institutions.”
PA NOW agrees with our sister and disgrees with the subject line of the original emiail. We don't need health insurance reform. What we need is single-payer health care. This is the form of health care that the National Organization for Women has been advocating for since 1993 when NOW passed a national resolution supporting it.

I, like many people, am a victim and survivor of our broken health care system. I had to fight with my and my twin sister’s insurance companies to reverse a denial of transplant donor coverage in order for me to have a bone marrow transplant. Then I dealt with 30 companies rejecting me for health insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition. And whenever our family now refills my son’s asthma medication, the pharmacist fights with coordinating two health insurance companies to get them to fill the prescription because one requires generic and the other requires a brand name medication.

This isn’t health care. This is the Kool-Aid that the insurance companies are feeding us. Let’s get rid of this Kool-Aid in Pennsylvania and in the U.S. Pass HB 1660/SB 400 in the state and HR 676 in Congress so that we can have comprehensive single-payer coverage for all.

Call and write your legislators to support, sponsor and vote for a Medicare-for-All kind of bill.  In PA that's HB 1660 and SB 400.  In Congress that HR 676 as well as the amendment in the general health care bill that allows states to create their own single-payer system.

-Revised from a speech on Single-Payer Health Care given in the Capital Rotunda on Tuesday, October 20 in Harrisburg as part of the Health Care for All Rally.