The United States Census Bureau announced it will soon release a report estimating the number of Americans who are without health insurance coverage. And while different surveys arrive at different figures, no one disagrees that the number of Americans who have been without health insurance for at least one full year is greater than 30 million (millions more are uninsured at a particular time). Furthermore, no one disagrees that this number is growing. Finally, no one can disagree that this number is too big. Regardless of your opinion with respect to private vs. public or government helath care, we need to find a solution to what has become a crisis in this country.
No doubt, the figure released by the Census Bureau will be repeated in speech after speech this election season. This issue, however, has become over-politicized. Guranteeing health care to our own citizens is a moral issue, and as a country we have a moral obligation to provide all of our citizens with quality health care. The idea that only the wealthy are entitled to quality health care is repugnant. Equally repugnant is the idea that people with serious medical conditions, and who require care most, cannot get coverage becuase no insurer will cover them.
The Census Bureau’s forthcoming report will merely confirm that which we all should be acutely aware of: at greater than 30 million, too many American individuals and families are uninsured. In America we can and must do better.