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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Insurance: Basic Right.

Published by cck at 10:06 AM

I was reading the papers this morning, seeing what's going on in the state of South Carolina, and I ran across this. Frank Knapp Jr. of the Greenville News writes that there is one legislative mission that would begin to solve all the other problems in this state - affordable health care for our citizens.
He says that the General Assembly - if they could find a way to provide the opportunity for health insurance to every citizen - would reward the state by: "attracting millions of out-of-state dollars into our economy, creating hundreds of high-paying jobs, increasing our per capita income, reducing the overhead costs for small businesses, preparing our children to learn, increasing the productivity of our work force, enabling small businesses to compete for skilled workers, making business recruitment easier and improving the overall health of our citizens."

I couldn't agree more.

Property tax, important. Cameras at red lights to catch lawbreakers, I get it. But health care - health care is basic. Health care - affordable, responsible health care - bleeds into every aspect of life in this State. From providing dental care to our children so their teeth don't hurt while they're trying to learn, to giving parity for mental health coverage so folks can get better and go back to work, we're beginning to address the crisis. We're making strides, I won't say we aren't. But we are clearly not doing enough when 850,000 South Carolinians have no health insurance. And no way to get it.

These are working people. Hard working South Carolinians who are taking one of the greatest risks a person can take - living without health insurance. Forget getting hit by a bus - think of getting the flu. It's expensive to see a doctor without insurance - if the doctor will even accept you a patient. Having no health insurance often puts working families into a spiral of debt from which they can barely recover.

It is my opinion, for what that's worth, that the state has a responsibility to care of its citizens. To protect us against things that we cannot protect against ourselves. Providing health insurance - a way to recieve benefits that would keep folks safe, keep them working, keep them from falling down on their way to the American Dream - that's what this state's responsibility is.

850,000 without health coverage. We would never allow that many uninsured motorists on the road - why are we keeping basic coverage on cars, but not bodies?


JFH said...

"Forget getting hit by a bus - think of getting the flu. It's expensive to see a doctor without insurance..."

See this is an argument I get into with my wife, when she takes the kids to the doctor. What, the hell is the doctor going to do if you have the flu? NOTHING!!! There's no cure for the flu! When I was a kid, my mom didn't take me to the doctor everytime I got sick. [end of curmudgeon rant]