LatinaLista — The debate over healthcare reform is getting so ugly that President Obama has resorted to using his weapon-of-last-resort — bloggers!
In a morning email, Latina Lista was notified of an afternoon blogger-only conference call with the President and his senior healthcare advisors. There was nothing new revealed on the call. The President basically delivered the same talking points we’ve heard him address since the debate began and which will probably be continually addressed until the bill is passed.
His passion for the topic was obvious on the call as was his disgust that South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint would allow himself to be quoted as saying, “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”
It was reported that DeMint’s statement would be taken by the White House to “rally the troops” a.k.a. bloggers and other potential supporters of the healthcare reform bill.
Yet, long before the Obama Administration started pushing Congress to fix healthcare, most in the Latino community were already rallying for Washington to fix the system for one very simple reason — the need for healthcare coverage is too great in the Latino community to be ignored or delayed any longer.
By virtue of the fact that this issue has become a hotly contested partisan issue, it’s no surprise that every major media outlet is reporting on how Republicans are strategizing to derail what they now call “Obamacare.”
Yet, no one opposed to the reform measure is offering an alternative that people can look to and compare.
The President has given Congress an August deadline to come up with a bill for him to sign in the fall. A lot of those people in Congress are “scoffing” at such a deadline saying that it’s unreasonable to think they can do anything by then and some claiming to shelve it for next year until they have more time.
But the people who are willing to have Congress wait to work on the bill are people who already have insurance and whose premiums are easily affordable to them.
An August deadline for Congress is a fitting deadline since it will be only a few weeks that thousands of families will be enrolling their children into school who will need physicals and vaccinations.
For a lot of Latino families, even paying a co-payment for a school physical can be a hardship when school supplies, clothes and school fees are factored in the back-to-school bill.
Yet, this healthcare bill isn’t just for those people who are uninsured. It’s for all those who are working but still can’t afford the high premiums due to pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes or obesity in some members of the family or their earnings push them over the edge to be classified as the “working poor.”
For these people, every day is lived in fear that something can happen to them that will put them at the doctor’s office with a bill that will either mean the mortgage or rent doesn’t get paid that month or there will be a cutback on groceries.
It is pure insensitive arrogance displayed by these people who don’t support Obama’s push for healthcare reform and offer no viable alternative to tell those hurting the most to stop their whining.
To those of us outside the Beltway, the loudest whining is coming from Washington. All those who need to see healthcare reformed are the ones who are silent, like they’ve always been — they’re too busy praying that they or no one in their families get hurt.
Some highlighted facts from the National Coalition on Health Care:
Nearly 46 million Americans, or 18 percent of the population under the age of 65, were without health insurance in 2007, the latest government data available.
The percentage and the number of uninsured Hispanics increased to 32.1 percent and 15 million in 2007.
Nearly 40 percent of the uninsured population reside in households that earn $50,000 or more.1 A growing number of middle-income families cannot afford health insurance payments even when coverage is offered by their employers.
Regardless of age, race, ethnicity, income or health status, uninsured children were much less likely to have received a well-child checkup within the past year. One study shows that nearly 50 percent of uninsured children did not receive a checkup in 2003, almost twice the rate (26 percent) for insured children.
A study found that 29 percent of people who had health insurance were “underinsured” with coverage so meager they often postponed medical care because of costs.15 Nearly 50 percent overall, and 43 percent of people with health coverage, said they were “somewhat” to “completely” unprepared to cope with a costly medical emergency over the coming year.