Goal: Guaranteed, affordable
As Congress considers solutions to our nation's inequities in health care, the problem of the uninsured and underinsured is front and center. Every day, individuals and families do without health insurance because they can't afford it. Many have lost their insurance along with their jobs. Many others are offered coverage through their employers but decline coverage because of the increasing premiums, deductibles and co-payments. Those with pre-existing conditions are often priced out of the individual insurance market. Still others have inadequate insurance that puts them at risk for incurring medical debt in the event of a personal health crisis.
What Americans want from health-care reform is access to quality insurance that the average person can afford. They also want their choice of plans and options.
The good news is that these goals are achievable. Many of the different approaches now being debated in Washington address the concerns many of us have. The key is to keep the goal clear: guaranteed, affordable choice. Making this the test of whatever plan emerges from Congress makes sense for the nation and for every citizen. It is a message that should be sent loud and clear to those engaged in crafting health-care reform this summer.
KAY GRIFFIN, Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner, Morley, Mo.