Archive for July 20, 2009

From the Desk of Judith Stein

Health Care Reform:  If It’s Good it Won’t Be Easy

I have represented Medicare beneficiaries throughout Connecticut and the country for over 30 years. While there are surely gaps in Medicare coverage, and recent privatization efforts have threatened Medicare’s stability, Medicare has provided basic health insurance coverage, peace of mind, and enhanced economic security to hundreds of millions of older and disabled people, and their families. Finally, as a result of Senator Dodd’s leadership and the Senate HELP Committee’s bill, there is hope that younger uninsured people and their families will be benefited as older and disabled people have been under Medicare. The Senate HELP Committee bill, like all legislation, is a compromise; it is not perfect, but it is well worth supporting. I do so enthusiastically from three vantage points:

  1. As an advocate for fair access to health care and Medicare, and something of a Medicare historian, I particularly praise the Senate bill’s inclusion of mandated core benefits and a public health insurance option. Medicare teaches that this is the only way to truly provide fair access to comprehensible, secure, affordable health insurance and care. Anyone who truly knows Medicare and who looks objectively at the value and costs of the traditional program versus the private Medicare plans knows this is true.
  2. As a cancer survivor, I applaud this bill as it will bring access to health insurance and coverage to many who now go without by finally prohibiting insurance discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
  3. As a small business “owner” (founder and executive director of a non-profit organization with 30 employees), I am grateful for the relief that this bill promises to employers, like my organization, that provide employee health insurance coverage. The cost of our good, but not “Cadillac” coverage, is a terrible strain on our budget and limits our ability to hire.

Thanks to the President, Senator Dodd and those on the Senate HELP Committee for pushing forward to provide health care coverage, and with it, access to care.  Please – keep it up.  Bring your Senate Finance Committee and House colleagues along.  This is not easy, but good things rarely are.

We need health care reform!

July 20, 2009 at 2:20 pm 1 comment


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