Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Why can't the uninsured and their advocates get it together?

Universal Health Care Now
AP— "If the uninsured were a political lobbying group, they'd have more members than AARP. The National Mall couldn't hold them if they decided to march on Washington.

"But going without health insurance is still seen as a personal issue, a misfortune for many and a choice for some. People who lose coverage often struggle alone instead of turning their frustration into political action...."
A group of 46 million ought to have more clout. Alas, too many of us are too poor, too downtrodden and too ill to mix much on the political scene.

Starting this blog was as much as I could do, and getting any attention for it has been a struggle. To date, not one political-action or health-care activists' site has linked to it, as far as I can tell. That's fine — I'm nobody important — but what gets me is that they mostly don't seem to connect to each other, either. I've tried to assemble a sort of "one-stop shopping" collection of links to prominent sites on health-care reform, particularly those with local connections, but it took some searching.

Of course, part of the problem is that the reformers don't all agree with each other. In fact, it looks like they're getting ready to rumble this Saturday, April 18, at St. Augustine College, when two disparate groups, HCAN-IL and CSPAN, will rally. The Illinois chapter of Health Care for America Now! favors a government-run "public option" system to compete with private insurance, while the Chicago Single-Payer Action Network wants to do away with private insurance and have a single government-run health-care plan for everyone.

Loyal readers will know I lean toward the latter plan, although I can see retaining private insurance under certain conditions. To me, it makes the most sense to push for the most drastic change and be prepared to compromise, rather than asking for crumbs at the outset. Yet I can't help wishing that everybody who wants to do away with the current system could come to some consensus.

I won't be up to attending Saturday's rally. But I hope there's a big turn out and that it ends by bringing the factions closer against the common enemy of the status quo.

Together we stand.

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