Aug 27, 2009
The Gray Panthers want to put a face on the uninsured
We are all aware that 50 millon Americans have no access to health care coverage, but for many people that is just a number with no connection to real people.
The fact is 11,000 people a day are joining the ranks of the uninsured as more companies shed health care benefits for employees to compete with the rest of the industrialized word that have universal health care. Since 1998, premiums for employer-sponsored coverage have increased 119 percent, and nearly 9 million workers in large companies with 100 or more employees had no coverage in 2007.
The Gray Panthers want to put a face to those 50 million people, and they are collecting Health Care Horror Stories for a Private Health Insurance Crises Quilt.
The book “Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis — and the People Who Pay the Price” by Michigan author Jonathan Cohn put a face on many of these uninsured. Those include the 55-year-old Cambridge special education teacher who died because she had to be diverted from a hospital ER that was capable of performing a “cardiac catheterization” to one that was not quaffed to perform it because the ER was overflowing.
Or the aeronautical engineer in California who lost his wife to aggressive cancer because had no health insurance after he was re-hired at his old company after a layoff because he was a “contract” employee. Or the retiree from a meatpacking plant who lost his health care because the company dropped it for retires to be able to compete. Or the small business owner who could not get health coverage because she had diabetes and fell victim to a scam. Or the person who paid premiums for years, but her policy was canceled when she finally needed to use it.
That’s just a small sample. I’m sure everyone knows someone in that boat.
The Grey Panthers wants to hear from you and your neighbors, friends and family.
So, here’s what they need:
1. Send your photo, approximately 8" x 10" that shows your face.
2. A brief story in large print - 1/2 inch if possible- on a sheet of paper about
8" wide, 6" high about private Insurance abuse and denial.
3. Caption in LARGE print - bright magic marker like-"Policy Canceled When I Got Cancer"
By providing the Grey Panthers with this information, you are giving them authorization to use your photo and story for public use. They would like to be able to use your name, so if you sign your story with your name, your name will be added to the quilt. If you choose to remain anonymous, sign your story "Anonymous."
Please mail the information by September 3, 2009 to:
6213 Dahlonega Road
Bethesda. MD 20816
The Grey Panthers are a national organization with local chapters of activists of all ages dedicated to social change. They work to make America a better place to live for the young, the old and everyone-in-between. They address peace, health care, jobs, housing and lots of other concerns to citizens.