The following came in my email from the White House. I thought it was worth sharing...
$1,115 -- that's the average monthly premium for employer-sponsored family coverage in 2009. Annually, that amounts to $13,375, or roughly the yearly income of someone working a minimum wage job.1
It gets worse: a recent survey found that if we do nothing, over the next ten years, out-of-pocket expenses for Americans with health insurance could increase 35 percent in every state in the country.2
In an effort to put the past year's debate over health insurance reform into perspective, we're launching "Health Reform by the Numbers," an online campaign using key figures, like $1,115, to raise awareness about why we can't wait any longer for reform. We'll be sending out a new number every day. Learn what you can do to help spread the word:
$1,115 is more money than what many Americans pay for rent or mortgage. But there's more to the problem than just numbers.
Take Leslie Banks, an American mom with a daughter in college. In January of this year, she received a notice from her health insurance provider that her plan was being dropped. To keep the same benefits, the premiums for her and her daughter would more than double. Leslie was told by the insurance company that there was nothing she could do -- it was an across-the-board premium hike. If she paid the same monthly premium amount as before, the deductible would increase from $500 to $5,000, and she and her daughter would no longer have preventive care or prescription coverage.
Yesterday, Leslie introduced President Obama at a health reform event in Pennsylvania. Check out what they had to say.
It's important to raise awareness about numbers like $1,115 and stories like Leslie’s because skyrocketing health care costs impact all of us. So take a moment to forward this email to your family, friends and online networks.
With all of us working together, we'll send the message loud and clear -- the time is now for health insurance reform. It's time we made our health care system work for American families and small businesses, not just insurance companies.
Director, White House Office of Health Reform
As I've said before, I don't get people's resistance to universal coverage.
Massachussetts has a program similar to what the White House has proposed and it is apparently working quite well, the Republican Governor of the state opposes offering the rest of the country desperately needed help. One has to wonder if this is concern for the country or politics. Well, one doesn't really have to wonder, the answer is pretty obvious.
I read recently that Sarah Palin used to go across the border to get health care for her family. You know that horrible socialist country to our north where she didn't have to pay for care. Hmmm.
Another great reason to support Health Care reform is that Rush Limbaugh has threatened to leave the country and move to Costa Rica (which has universal health coverage) if health care passes. Would that the man ever spoke the truth. When he got sick in Hawaii a few months back, he raved about his care until he discovered that Hawaii has had universal coverage for its citizens for 40 years!
The biggest reasons as far as I'm concerned, though - are human decency. What kind of nation are we if we let our own citizens suffer and die needlessly, when we don't make sure that every pregnant women gets the best possible care. There's also the common sense reason. While there may be short-term costs to reform, there are long-term savings... in money and in lives. I bought new windows for my house a while back. I had to accrue debt to do it, spend money I couldn't afford. Do I regret the decision? Not for a second. My quality of life has improved enormously, I'm saving on heating costs and the environment is benefiting too.
I don't know if this analogy works, but I'm going to try it. The current state of health care - the uninsured, the outrageous costs - are like a cancerous tumor slowly killing the nation's people and it's economy. We can keep postponing surgery and see our people and our economy die while we wait - or we can take action, even imperfect action. Maybe we'll need additonal surgery. We'll be alive to have it.
Sometimes you have to spend to save. Sometimes you spend because its necessary. Our current health care system has left many bankrupt or in crippling debt, even those who thought they were insured. That's just destructive of individual lives and of the nation's economic well-being.
Lastly, I guess, it's simply not right for so many people to live without access to health care. We are our brother's (and sister's) keepers. It's true that if we don't hang together we will all hang separately. If we don't hang together way too many of us will die separately, needlessly in pain and in poverty. That's just wrong.
Guess that's all I have to say. Not sure how coherent it is, but...