U.S. Behind Other Nations in Health Care

Americans For Health Care is supporting a Fair Share Health Care that will prevent large, profitable corporations from shifting the cost of their employees’ health care costs onto workers, taxpayers, and other businesses.

According to the organization the act will require these companies to spend a certain percentage of their payroll taxes toward health care for their employees or pay the difference of what they do pay into the state’s Medicaid fund, help alleviate the financial pressures facing states as they struggle to contain Medicaid costs, reduce the bill taxpayers pay to cover these corporations’ business costs, and level the playing field between companies providing good jobs and benefits to their workers and those that don’t.

Ruben has liver cancer and though he has health insurance and works full-time, his policy isn’t very good. He was recently told by a medical rep that he would have to fork out $300 every time he was to go through radiation, something he could not afford to do. Turns out his cancer wasn’t going to respond to radiation but even if it would, he wouldn’t have been able to go through the process financially.

The number of uninsured in America in 2003 was 45,000,000 according to the Census Bureau and 8.5 million children in the U.S. have no health care. The amount of time it takes for nearly three people to lose their health insurance in the U.S.A. is one minute. According to the Center for American Progress, 45 million uninsured Americans is more than all Americans age 65 and older (35.9 million) and all African-Americans (37.1 million). It is also more than all Hispanic or Latino Americans (39.9 million).

In August 2000 Charmie Long lost a kidney after having to go through the county hospital because she didn’t have insurance and was in a coma for a month. She had some mysterious illness and the doctors were stymied but when they did find out what it was it was too late. Her girlfriend, Sharon felt like they wasted time.

“She was swelled up like a balloon. She was unrecognizable. The doctors didn’t seem that concerned,” said Sharon.

When Jason Brauss hurt his hand a couple of years ago he wasn’t willing to sit all night at the local county hospital to get treated.

“I’ll just suffer with it,” he said.

Kathi Marchiano lives in Sacramento, CA.

“My daughter and I have to take prescription medication every day,” she said.

Debbie Ball has Diabetes and is going blind because she can’t afford the co-pays through her husband’s health insurance which covers him through his job.

S. Connors of North Lauderdale, FL says the healthcare and insurance systems in America are broken and completely detached from the people they purport to want to help.

“In June of 2003 I lost my executive position due to a hostile takeover of the company,” she said. “I spent six months paying without insurance for health care costs. What I’ve discovered is that the insurance company has no heart and applies no critical judgment regarding who is or is not at high risk, and due to their rejection of so many people, the state insurance program is continuously full. I am insured today only because my significant other got a job as a teacher and the school system in which he works covers domestic partners – thank you gay-rights activists for helping this heterosexual woman to have insurance!”

For more information go to americansforhealthcare.org online.

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