Thursday, January 10, 2008

Schauer Pushes for Affordable, Accessible Health Care

Sen. Mark Schauer attended the recent kick-off of the Michigan Health Care Security Campaign, The ballot proposal that would amend the state constitution to guarantee health care for all state residents.

Personal stories from the press conference highlighted the need to do something about this- and soon.

At Tuesday's press conference, Boughton said she was able to secure health insurance for her son, now 3, through MIChild -- a state program that provides coverage for uninsured children -- but she lost the insurance after she made $100 more than the program allowed. Her husband, who works 32 to 36 hours a week, does not qualify for his employer's medical insurance, said the 37-year-old mother and member of the local band Blue Dahlia.

"Shame, shame for not helping the people like me -- just to breathe, to breathe," Boughton said.

"There's an economic imperative as well. Michigan's economic recovery is at risk because of rising health care costs," said Schauer. And he's right. People who lose their insurance end up in the emergency rooms, which in turn raises the cost for everyone, which in turn will push more people and employers to drop coverage, which sends more people to the emergency rooms... we are in a deadly spiral here, and it needs to be stopped before the cost is so prohibitive that only the biggest companies/wealthiest individuals will have any sort of insurance, and the rest of us will be left begging for basic care.

Funding mechanisms are a concern, and that is being looked at as we speak. Giving the lawmakers some guidelines as to how this will work goes a long way on selling this proposal.

Although the coalition does not yet have a health-care-funding plan to offer the Michigan Legislature, it will review funding proposals being developed by the Michigan Health Insurance Access Advisory Council, Kovari said.

They need 500,000 signatures by July 7th to get this on the November ballot.