Shackled by Insurance 

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Senator Hatch, please do not filibuster or otherwise work against health-care reform which is much needed in Utah, where thousands of low-income workers, children and seniors do not have health insurance.

In a letter to me, you said that most people already get health insurance through their employment. It is true that most people with health insurance are insured through their work, or in the case of many women, through their husband’s employment. This is a very precarious arrangement. People are forced to stay in jobs because of healthcare benefits. Women may stay in abusive marriages to keep their health insurance. Sick young adults attending universities and community colleges must take full loads of study in order to remain covered by their parents’ health-care plans when a lighter load would be better for their physical and mental health.

Basic health care is a basic necessity and should not be tied to a specific employment.

When you and I go to the doctor, we pay a co-payment that is ridiculously low, especially considering our income. (In my case, I gratefully share my husband’s income. My part-time teaching position offers no benefits and not enough income to cover a major emergency.)

Many of my students are adults who work during the day at one or sometimes two jobs, and they do not have benefits. They don’t go to the doctor for preventative health care. They go for emergency health care. This is expensive for them and for society. They have lots less money than you and I, and they pay through the nose or the government has to pick up the tab for something that might have been more cheaply dealt with sooner. (Not true for sudden emergencies like accidents resulting in broken limbs. Preventative health care doesn’t solve everything!)

Please don’t block basic health care at affordable or subsidized cost to US citizens. A healthy population benefits more from education, can work harder, can think more clearly and can participate more effectively in government.

You and I have a moral obligation to make sure that the health care is available to everyone. You’re in a better position than I am to see that this happens. Despite our political differences, I have no choice but to rely on your innate fairness and sense of obligation to help those who are less fortunate but no less deserving.

Please don’t let us down.

Margo Markowski
Via the Internet

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