Am I my neighbor’s keeper? I have health insurance. You get yours.
According to a report from the National Academy of Sciences, health insurance is essential for health and well-being.
The report also indicates that our current safety nets are not up to the task of preventing avoidable illnesses.
In areas where the rate of uninsured is particularly high, the financial impact on providers negatively affects the quality and cost of services for the entire community so that even those with insurance are not likely to get satisfactory care.
As much as we Americans like to consider ourselves to be independent of each other, there’s no escaping the reality that we are bound together by our shared economy. Health care is one portion of that economy.
Maybe you didn’t sign on for a bad mortgage, but your home value dropped anyway; you didn’t buy a gas guzzler, but energy prices are eating away at your budget; you didn’t engage is a fraudulent stock market scheme, but your net worth plummeted; and even if you feel safe in an employer-provided group heath insurance policy, the quality and cost of your health care ARE affected by forces outside your control.
It’s time for us, as a nation, to stop the “I’ve got mine” train of thought. The number of Americans without health insurance is growing as unemployment rises. My neighbor’s plight may become my own.
The uninsured and the underinsured come from all walks of life. They are the poor, middle-class, children, adults, elderly, employed, unemployed, taxpayers, citizens, chronically ill, and disabled. They are you and me. Most came to be in this predicament through no fault of their own.
I may not be my neighbor’s keeper, but what happens to my neighbor has a direct impact on what happens to me.
All Americans have a stake in health care reform. We are not giving up our independence… we are not abandoning what it means to be an American… by coming together for the common good and providing proper health care for all.