From CBS Evening News tonight:
Whether snowshoeing or hiking in the New Hampshire woods, [Keith] Blessington always felt great. Then he was laid off. And just as his health care benefits were about to run out, he was diagnosed with stomach cancer.
“They said, ‘Well we can’t insure you, it’s as simple as that,'” Blessington said.
Blessington did find coverage – for double what he had been paying.
Insurance covered most of his medical bills, which totaled more than $200,000. But he still ended up more than $70,000 in debt, and no longer able to afford the home he shares with his ailing mother.
“I’m afraid I’ll die,” said Denise Prosser. The 39-year-old can no longer afford to treat her thyroid cancer, since her husband lost his job and health insurance.
She doesn’t qualify for Medicare (“not disabled enough”) or Medicaid (her husband makes too much in unemployment). She’s not sick enough for the emergency room – yet.
The Prossers are scrambling to find charitable care.
You know what the answer is for these people?
The choice of a public health insurance plan.
CBS won’t let me embed the video so you have to go to their website to see it. But the whole time I was watching Dr. Jon LaPook’s report I was thinking, this is why we need comprehensive heath care reform with the choice of a public health insurance plan. This is why everyone should be signing on with HCAN and helping us help Obama win this fight. It’s about having a guarantee of quality, affordable health care we all can count on. It’s about having coverage when you need it most no matter what.