The Westchester Health Care Reform Task Force will hold a vigil on Wednesday, September 2, at 5:30 in the park at the corner of Palmer Ave. and Weaver St. All are welcome to join us.
In the words of Rachel Estroff, organizer of the task force:
“In the midst of lies about death panels and legitimate debate about the best course of action for reform, those most vulnerable within the health care system are often overlooked. Whether you support single-payer or some version of what is being debated now, please join us in recognizing the true victims of our broken health care system – individuals and families.”
Speaking to people in Larchmont and Mamaroneck as I gather the names of reform supporters, I’ve heard heart-rending stories. One woman told me, “My doctor is a saint! I had emergency surgery and he said not to worry about sending him a bill, ever. But the hospital sent their bill, for $40,000! How in the world am I going to deal with that for the rest of my life?”
A man commented as he signed, “The only thing I’m working for is the health insurance! If I could, I’d leave my job in a minute!”
A woman with her adult daughter hesitated to sign, until the daughter said, “But Mom, what about Danny?!” The mother explained that Danny, their beloved cousin/nephew, had no insurance and was now in the hospital as a result of an accident, plunging the whole family into terrible crisis. She eagerly signed on for reform.
A 38 year old single mother, working full-time, explained that she’s gotten coverage for her three children but had nothing for herself. In her twenties, she’d had two lumpectomies but hadn’t been able to afford to see a doctor, much less the mammogram she desperately needs, for several years.
President Obama insists on the following specific consumer protections:
No rejections for pre-existing conditions
No high out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, or co-pays
No cost-sharing for preventive care
No dropping of coverage for serious illness or injury
No gender discrimination
No annual or lifetime caps on coverage
Extended coverage for young adults
Guaranteed insurance renewal
Through the competition of a public insurance option and cost savings over the next decade, members of Congress have agreed that this is all affordable. Indeed the present system is broken and unsustainable.
Please join us in working together for realistic, vital health insurance reform to make us whole.
Elizabeth Baird Saenger