Monday, September 07, 2009

Center Supports Public Health Insurance Option

Open Letter to President Obama

From Norris McDonald

Please provide America with a public option for people like me Mr. President. The Center supports a public option, but targeted directly to people who cannot get health insurance in the private sector. I have asthma and cannot get private health insurance. A public option would be perfect for people like me. I understand the opposition from people who are happy with their current health insurance. But what about the other 40 million people who are not insured or cannot get health insurance?

America has the best health care system in the world, regardless of comparisons to other countries that do not carry the vast responsibilities and living standards as does the United States. I should have died at least twice when I was intubated in the intensive care unit (ICU), once in 1991 and again in 1996. The American system not only saved my life those two times, but numerous other times when I was on my knees in emergency rooms struggling to get some air into my body. Sometimes with my young son looking on. Yet, even though my son inherited asthma from me as I did from my father, because he is 17, I could get health insurance for him. Of course, there is a $10,000 deductible and it has to be paid before the insurance company will pay the bill. The system is not broken, even though costs for current Medicare and Medicaid need some reform. Tort reform is also needed.

So please Mr. President. Please provide a vehicle for people like me to get health insurance. Such a plan does not have to threaten current insurance policy holders. I hope you will take charge of this issue during your speech on Wednesday. Imagine going into the 2009/10 winter with the H1N1 virus possibly impacting us and not having health insurance.

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