I attended the “Quality Affordable Healthcare for All in 2009” seminar held by NH Citizens Alliance and Working Families’ Win on Tuesday and according to their professional advocates, reform meetings have currently started in Washington and ideas are being posed through out the country with Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) at the helm.
Sen. Ted Kennedy is taking a sabbatical to address his own personal health issues. Sen. Kennedy was diagnosed last year with a brain tumor and has been undergoing treatment since this point.
Sen. Chris Dodd of Conn, a long-time collegue and firne, will take over the health care reform meetings in Sen. Kennedy’s absence.
The proposals will hopefully be sent through the house and the senate this summer and a bill will be put on Obama’s desk by October.
The “Quality Affordable Healthcare For All in 2009” educated attendees regarding the current state of healthcare in America, the history of the healthcare, and the proposed reform measurements.
Jaime Contois, advocate coordinator from Working Families Win, started the seminar stating, “
Contois called the increase of cost and diminished access to health care a "building crisis in the U.S." "We want to make sure that health care is not tied to a job. Many people lose their job, and, at the same time, health care -- there are many people in our community at risk," Contois said. "We need to make sure there is continuous care even though there is not continuos employment.
"As a result [of the challenges] many families are going without affordable health care and because of that there is a real opportunity for people to communicate with their elected officials as experts on their personal experiences," Contois said.
There are many ways to become effective in health care reform, Contois said, citing one as being able to "communicate about things that you care about.”
This was the goal of the evenings workshop: to empower indivduals to participate in government actions through advocacy and communication to illicit change.Ms. Contois was followed by Terry Lochhead, of NH Alliance for Retired Americans who went over a brief history of Medicare.
Medicare, Lockhead said, was enacted in 1965 when one-third of Americans over the age of 65 were in poverty and adults raising families had to choose between meeting the needs of their children or providing health care for their parents.
Today though "it might not be perfect," but 99 percent of older Americans are covered by Medicare, Lockhead said.
Chronically disabled Americans, such as myself, are also covered under medicare.
However, financially the existing health care infrastructure is set for implosion and reform efforts have started due to what is being called the “era of inevitability.”The health care bubble in the United States, with it’s inflated cost resulting in the inability of many American’s to access healthcare, has forced the issue upon the government in hopes to avert a crisis.
According to David Desiderato of Northeast Action, who also spoke at the event regarding The Public Health Insurance Option (PHIP) and HCAN there are “Three lessons of the nineteen-nineties attempt at healthcare reform.” He advises to “Keep your eyes on the prize.”
Since the 1990s, “Ideology has shifted, unrestrained businesses, such as banks, we now know will cause us to suffer, and the health care market has hurt our health based on their bottom line.”
He continued, “Health is too important to give to profits.” David stated, there has been a “subtle shift in government towards ability to participate without "socializing" medicine. Our highly inefficient current system has caused people to see difference between good and bad systems. Things have gotten worse (in the last 15 years). The numbers of Uninsured keeps climbing, especially with job loss, and the rates of the underinsured have worsened.
Mr. Desiderato stated these social healthcare problems, “breeds insecurity” and our “Costs continue to go through the roof. The American healthcare system costs fifty percent more than the next country.” If our healthcare system was reformed to run equally and as efficiently as our neighboring or equally developed countries, “Everybodies’ property tax could be cut in half. All children could go to public college. Our health systemis comparable to Cuba.”Luckily, participants were all involved to work towards social change and David concluded his talk on a positive note, “There is more social organizations and allies seeking to reform healthcare: realtors small business alliance (than in the 1990s). Health care reform is not for just the health industry. Our economy is going to be sick until we fix healthcare.”
The Eagle Times was in attendance and wrote regarding the event. The article can be viewed online at http://www.eagletimes.com/ET/story/090609-ar-clmtHealthcareReform
NH Citizens Alliance and Working Families' Win will continue with their efforts to participate in healthcare reform in NH and beyond.
June 25th 2009 has been labeled "National Healthcare day" and health care reform advocacy groups from all over the country are flocking to Washington DC to meet with the Senate and Congress to have individuals' stories and opinions heard.
Both groups are organizing trips to DC for the event.
NH Citizens Alliance is organizing a bus trip, leaving June 24, 2009, to attend the event in DC. Anybody who is interested in attending using the bus should contact Sabrina Johnson @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jaime Contois, with Working Families Win, will be coordinating carpooling for people from the Claremont and Keene Areas. Please contact her via email at email@example.com. More information is available in the right side bar.
Though I would love to take this opportunity to participate in such a large, nationale forum to advance health care in America, due to my health restrictions, I will not be in attendence.
However, I have attended events like this before and would like to encourage attendence. It is fun and empowering, and you;ll get a great trip to DC. It could be made into a summer kick-off family event.
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
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Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
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