LETTER: National health care needed now more than ever

Friday, April 10, 2009 | 12:14 p.m. CDT; updated 11:26 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009

Health care for all is a political promise I hope to see become reality. One in six Americans are uninsured. Public option, a part of President Obama's health care plan, will give Americans a choice of keeping the insurance they have or going with a public health care option like Medicare. It might also force for-profit insurance companies to provide better health care service at a lower cost.

I am a teacher in a rural community and daily see children who have no health care come to class with rotting teeth, rashes, coughs, burns and deep cuts bandaged at home. When a single parent loses his or her job, often the first way I know about it is when a child comes in after seeing a doctor or dentist. Antibiotics and fillings can make an immediate and obvious change in a child's life.

The janitor at our school gave up a successful commercial cleaning and upholstery business to work where group health coverage was available. No insurance company would cover an individual cancer survivor — too much risk.

When something in a society becomes a necessity, as health insurance has become, it is time for our government to see that it is made available to all. We have public police protection but can still choose to hire a security service. Our highways, schools, our national defense are all necessities and are public-supported. We need national health insurance!

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