Health Reform

November 13th, 2009

 The debate surrounding health care in the United States centers on several issues: expanding private insurance coverage versus the public option, eliminating pre-existing conditions as a reason to deny coverage, controlling costs. Over the summer, Americans became divided by party lines, as they grappled with their desired end result for health care reform.

Recently, Harvard Science released a study showing forty-five thousand deaths are annually linked to a lack of health care coverage. The study found that uninsured, working-age Americans have a forty percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts, up from a twenty-five percent excess death rate found in 1993.

This year, Jennifer Hough, an uninsured twenty-four year-old, mother of a two year-old and seven months, pregnant fell ill. She was diagnosed having a cold after being rushed to the ER. However, within thirty-six hours, she fell seriously ill. For fifty-five days, her family fought for her to receive proper health care. But on August twenty-six Jennifer died. This fall, Congress began debate on legislation that could eventually restructure the health care system and provide funds to help millions of people buy insurance.

On this edition of Community Media & You we talk with activists about the impact health care reform is creating during the Obama administration. Joining me are: Laura Leon, faith director at Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care, and Midge Hough, mother-in-law of Jennifer Hough.

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