At first I resisted, but then I felt I simply had to bring this letter to your attention. It is was sent to me by a dear friend from the past, and I have reprinted it from http://squarestate.net/diary/6932/#35532. Your faithful correspondent has never been in Colorado, nor does she ever intend to be in Colorado, but as the old saying goes, "it could happen here."
A 62-year-old man, who we'll call Joe Smith, came to the emergency room for the third time in 2 weeks. He had no other place to go. Two weeks before, at another hospital, he had been diagnosed with cancer. Only he didn't have health insurance, because neither of his two jobs offered coverage.
Joe couldn't afford to buy an individual health policy and was too young to qualify for Medicare. Now, because of his cancer, no insurer would accept him. It was an all-too-familiar American tragedy. Joe needed his cancer treated, but without insurance the cost of treatment threatened to bankrupt his family. To date Joe's cancer remains untreated.
LindaB :: A Message from Colorado Doctors
As physicians in Colorado (see our signatures below), we see a case like Joe's every day. As doctors, we see it as our ethical obligation to advocate for the interests of our patients. In this year's presidential election, John McCain and Barack Obama offer two starkly different visions of what is wrong with our healthcare system and two different prescriptions for "change".
Sen. McCain's plan focuses on an unregulated market for health insurance, makes no commitment to provide insurance to all U.S. citizens, and doesn't address the health delivery system. His plan uses the $360 billion/year of new taxes generated by eliminating the current employer/employee pre-tax exclusion for health insurance benefits to create credits for buying individual health insurance in an unregulated market. The consequence for Colorado could be fewer employers contributing to health insurance, increased taxes on workers, fewer people able to afford insurance and growth in the number of uninsured.
Sen. Obama's plan provides access to guaranteed, affordable insurance. His plan allows those who like their employer based insurance to keep it. For those without good health insurance his plan creates new, affordable insurance options by pooling them into larger risk pools. In each case, premiums and direct costs will be made affordable, and people will not have to fear losing their coverage or entering bankruptcy if someone in their family becomes ill.
America's health care system is broken. A privileged few can get extraordinary health care. However, compared to most developed countries, the overall quality of our healthcare is poor; management of chronic illness is limited; and investment in health information systems that improve care is minimal. Our system is the most expensive system in the world, but in Colorado alone we have almost 800,000 men, women, and children living without health insurance. An additional 500,000 Coloradans are underinsured. This lack of insurance is associated with early death and disability. It leaves thousands of Coloradans one illness away from personal bankruptcy.
For Joe and all of our patients who are uninsured, underinsured or will become newly uninsured under McCain's plan we are speaking out. We believe Sen. Obama's plan can lead us closer to an affordable, equitable, and accountable health care delivery system that secures our patient's future.
Suzanne Brandenburg, MD
Laura Donigan, MD
Daniel Jamieson, MD
Danielle Loeb, MD
Joel S. Levine, MD
Judy Zerzan, MD
Agreed with and signed by an additional 96 physicians and 21 medical students from Colorado
My goodness, I really have to stop this political jag I have been on, dahlings. I am actually starting to watch CNN over my assistant's shoulder, and after the season finale of Project Runway I watched the last part of the presidential debate!
Has anyone noticed how oddly assymetrical Sen. McCain's face is? His consultants should only have him photographed from the right, so that you don't notice that odd little bulge on one side. And besides, it's only fitting that he be photographed from the right, don't you think?
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog