I have been remiss in my duties this week, given the focus of this blog, because I haven't mentioned until now that this is Cover the Unisured Week.
Kate reports these stats:
• 41% of the uninsured adults reported skipping medical care because of cost last year. This number doesn't include the 20% of children who lack health insurance.
• 23% of uninsured adults report their health as "fair" or "poor," compared with 12% of insured adults.
And she takes the words right out of my mouth when she prefaces those stats by saying:
So while others will persist with their false claims that the uninsured receive care, and therefore the problem is not immediate, remember this:
I don't so much get people commenting that the uninsured receive care, but rather that the vast majority of the uninsured are uninsured because they want to be so, and it's their own damn fault if something happens. Folks can maintain that bluster until you bring up children...at which point even these folks can't pretend children control their own health insurance destiny. That's when the argument that they can receive care comes up.
How could someone "let" their child go without insurance? Here's one story of how you end up with an uninsured child from BlogHer. Is the guy in this story a jerk of a unique and highest order? Well, a jerk of the highest order? Sure. Unique. Don't think so. I know more than one person personally who has had health insurance or contributions to health care for their children become a pawn in post-divorce conflicts. And I really don't know that many people!
This last weekend I was at the California Democratic Party state convention, and concerns about the health care crisis were a regular topic. The Platform Committee had lengthy arguments over whether to advocate single-payer or universal health care without requiring single-payer (more like Massachusetts.) They went for the former. I tend toward the latter.
But at least we agree it is a problem, and it does need to be addressed.
Check out Cover The Uninsured.org and all the stats, stories and activities and tell me you don't agree!
Cover the Unisured Week