Health insurance should no longer be seen as optional. The CDC has released a new report that indicates more than 59 million Americans were without health insurance for some portion of 2009. Adults between 18 and 64 accounted for 50 million of that total. This is another great indication that broader health care inclusion for this country was a real necessity.
Everyone knows that the costs of health care, or worse, the costs of going without health care, are extraordinary. What has not received enough attention is the depth and breadth of the problem. This issue is not about poverty or race or even the recession. It’s about individuals and families being overwhelmed by systems they don’t understand and costs they can’t manage. That is precisely when the government should intervene. The Obama administration should broadcast this report as loudly as possible to help make the case that health care reform is critical and repealing it would be disastrously cruel. Besides, as I recently asked, when Americans begin receiving additional coverage, who among us will want it to go away?