Healthcare for All
Your boss calls to give you the bad news: You're
losing your job and with it health insurance for you and your family. Or, you
have a steady job but face benefit cuts and rising premiums that erode your
take-home pay. Or, your job provides great insurance, but you have an
enterprising idea that you want to turn into a business; however, abandoning
health insurance is too risky, so you stay put.
This is the norm, not the exception. A growing
number of Coloradans, including the insured, can no longer claim peace of mind
when it comes to health care. And Colorado is worse off because of it.
The status quo leaves us constrained, less
prosperous, and less free. Workers are less productive, big businesses are less
competitive, and Americans are less willing to take the entrepreneurial risks
upon which our economy depends.
In recent years, Colorado has made exceptional
gains addressing these challenges by expanding care. This year alone, we worked
with Gov. Bill Ritter to pass House Bill 1293, which will expand coverage to
100,000 uninsured Coloradans over the next four years.
Nonetheless, large gaps remain. The state is
limited, and the private insurance market has failed to cover the hundreds of
thousands of uninsured.
That's why I endorse the federal insurance option
I have decades of experience in the health care
field as a nurse, legislator, and mother and grandmother. I believe that a good
federal plan must include the following components:
Availability: Health care must be available to
anyone who wants to receive insurance under the plan. If you are dissatisfied
with your current plan, the federal plan should be available to you.
Affordability: Necessary health care should be
affordable and within reach for all Americans regardless of income level. We
must not compromise on this basic tenet of a patient- centered system.
Choice: A Coloradan who is happy with her or his current
employer- based insurer must be allowed to continue under that plan.
Security, portability, continuity: An American who wants to change a
job, start a business, or move to a different state should not fear losing
their health care benefits.
Doctors and nurses: Americans must be allowed to
choose their own doctor and have a voice in deciding what treatment they
Guaranteed coverage: Basic fairness requires that the
plan should cover anyone regardless of preexisting medical conditions.
Cost of providing health care: The plan must slow the growth of
health care costs. There are basic cost-saving measures available that can save
the country billions of dollars and boost incomes in the long term. We simply
need to implement them, and the time is now.
It is unreasonable to expect a perfect bill to
emerge from Congress, but I believe those are the basic values that should be
in any plan. If a federal option satisfies most of these conditions, our
country will take a major step toward upgrading our health care system.
What does the federal debate mean to everyday
Coloradans? Who should support the federal option?
1. Anyone who has insurance but could lose it.
2. Anyone who has helplessly watched premiums rise
in recent years.
3. Anyone who is interested in starting a business
but is worried about how to provide insurance for themselves and their
4. Anyone who runs a large business and has watched
rising costs eat into profits, and seen productivity slump among unhealthy
5. Anyone who has children and wonders what
continuing with the status quo will mean for their future.
Join me in
supporting a public health insurance option that will free us from worry and
give us freedom of choice. Join me in making our children healthier, our
families more secure, our workers more productive, and our companies more
competitive. Join me in fostering the peace of mind we all deserve.