Monday, July 20, 2009

50 Health Care Advocates Interrupt Mark Kirk's Announcement for Senate

This just in from Health Care for America Now! (HCAN) Illinois:

[Kenilworth, IL] – Today, Health Care for America Now (HCAN) leaders held signs and chanted “Health Care Now” during U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk’s announcement for his run for Senate. A handful of volunteers made it to the front of the rally to challenge Kirk directly about the need for real health care reform. A frustrated Kirk responded, “We can’t afford to insure everyone.” ***See early press coverage below***

As Judith Gethner stated, “I attended Rep Kirk's news conference today where he announced his decision to run for Senator of Illinois. I clawed my way to the front gate and when it was time to begin the aide allowed a small group of us in. Having recently been interviewed by Channel 7 I found my way to his side. Although I snuck up on Kirk's porch after the news conference and was able to ask ‘why won't you
support a public option for healthcare’ there wasn't any press around to watch him intentionally ignore me. I asked again, and he angrily responded ‘We can’t afford it.’

Gethner continued: “How can we afford not to, Mr. Kirk?” In a report released earlier this month, Health Care for America Now showed that 95 percent of the country has the choice of 2 or fewer insurance companies, burdening families and businesses with premiums that grew 5.6 times faster than wages from 2000 to 2007.

Pat Rice of Deerfield stated “I’m now $20,000 in debt and my 17-year-old daughter is ‘uninsurable’ from my insurance company rescinding my policy retroactively. I need the government to interfere in my health care – who is protecting me from bad practices of the insurance industry? I want Mark Kirk to change the policy.”

Dan Sherry of Barrington stated, “I’m a small business owner from Rep. Kirk’s district and have never been able to provide health care for my employees. The insurance industry won’t take my money because I have high cholesterol. I need a public health insurance option to provide insurance for myself, my family and my employees.”

A local businessman, David Borris of Hel’s Kitchen, was shoved away by police for simply asking Congressman Kirk why he won’t help small businesses control health care costs?

“There is no real choice or competition in the private health insurance market, and only giving everyone the option of a public health insurance plan will guarantee we get quality, affordable health care we all can count on this year,” said Davis Borris, small business owner. “A public health insurance option will force private health insurance companies to control cost, guarantee quality, stop hiding
what they will and won’t cover, and put people’s health before corporate profit.”

In communities of color, the need is even greater. The nation’s more than 103 million people of color suffer disproportionately in our health care system. For example, the mortality rate for African Americans in Illinois is 35 percent higher than for whites. Also, the infant mortality rate for African Americans in Illinois is more than 2.5 times that of white infants.

Legislation under consideration in Congress right now would offer one of the best opportunities since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 to erase persistent health disparities. Despite Congressman’s Kirk assistance that we can not afford the same insurance tax payers supply him, we know better.

Citizen Action/Illinois is a founding member of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a national grassroots campaign of more than 1000 organizations representing more than 30 million people dedicated to winning quality, affordable health care we all can count on in 2009. Health Care for America Now and its principles for reform are supported by President Obama and more than 190 Members of Congress.

“Government-run health care programs in Canada and the United Kingdom show us the dangers of taking away personal choice. Long waits and denied care for routine procedures are rampant in both countries as bureaucrats dictate when and if patients may be treated. Make no mistake—delayed care is denied care.” -Kirk release,

The current system delays and denies treatment everyday. The insurance industry use of pre-existing conditions, recission, and denying treatments impacts thousands of Illinois families each year. Doctor’s do not have the final say in decision making in the United States. The insurance industry approves medical decisions. Under the
President’s plan, the insurance industry will not have the final say. 60 percent of bankruptcies in America are caused by health care crises. That is 54,500 bankruptcies in 2008.

When Dan Sherry and his wife missed their first insurance payment in 22 years, their insurance company kicked them off of their plan and
told him to reapply. The company got his medical records, found that he had high cholesterol (now a pre-existing condition, since they’d kicked him out,) and told him he was uninsurable. Sherry was forced to consider divorcing his wife in order to keep her and their children insured.

No comments:

Post a Comment