Besides the recent market crashes and economics and Iraq, what’s the most talked about issue? Healthcare.
The rising costs of insurance, the 45 million Americans without insurance, and the confusing loopholes in our policies are just a few of many concerns that we have. So with 15 percent of Americans without any insurance, it’s clearly a problem because tax payers support Medicare and Medicaid programs for low-income and elderly folks nationally.
It’s impossible to say, “Get a job!” because healthcare, like most issues, isn’t black and white. There are millions of children that can’t get jobs to provide employment; there are millions of people working ‘part-time’ up to 39.5 hours whose employer legally doesn’t need to offer benefits. And employers also have financial challenges providing benefits for employees, especially small businesses.
So what can we do to change the system? There are opportunities to promote reform nationally and get involved.
One grassroots organization is Americans for Healthcare. They are organized nationally, but they are trying to health care voters right here in North Dakota with the state branch North Dakota for Healthcare. You may have seen some hopeful workers and volunteers armed with clipboards and positive attitudes often wearing their distinctive purple t-shirts around your town. What support are they lobbying for? Simply put it’s a national movement for quality, affordable healthcare for everyone. They want more comprehensive healthcare plans for all Americans with choices of doctors and plans. Preventative Healthcare is essential instead of emergency only aid. They want cost efficient financing that’s shared with employers, individuals and government. Something most people can sign onto.
Who’s paying for this movement? Is it a gargantuan company like Wal-Mart? No, it’s a union. Service Employee International Union put the money from union dues into nationwide healthcare reform. This union is made of hotel/motel workers, restaurateurs/bartenders, and Para-professionals and all these professions are typically offered less than 40 hours per week, so employers don’t legally have to offer healthcare options.
We’re just trying to send the message to Washington that the healthcare system is broken, and they need to fix it.” Chad Oban, the statewide director of North Dakota for Healthcare said. “In North Dakota our congressional delegation gets that Health Care is a huge issue in North Dakota. A big part of our goal is giving the delegation the support they need from people back home to push big changes in Washington.
He said in North Dakota alone there are 61,000 people without any insurance, and 15,000 of these people are children. So, with around 10 percent of the state of North Dakota without healthcare and 15 percent nationally, it’s nice to know that someone is taking action.
He also said that this is not just an issue about people and kids without heth insurance, it is also very important for those with health insurance and employers who provide health insurance for their employees.
“I recently saw a study that showed the average cost of insurance has gone up 75 percent while income has gone up just 25 percent in North Dakota,” Oban continued. “So people with health insurance are paying much more one way or another. Either directly to the Insurance Companies or through the raises they are not getting because employer are paying so much more for employee insurance.”
So, you can either complain about something or do something to fix it. Whether its health insurance now or in the future you’re concerned about or the price of prescriptions, watching as politicians argue about your life isn’t going to make anything happen. As we look to the future of economic bailout plans overpowering our healthcare opportunities in senate and congress the time is now to take action. Find out more. Sign a petition. Educate others. Volunteer. We can’t depend on favorable changes happening by chance in our lives; we need to make them happen.
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