Health Care Reform Needed

Article excerpt

Byline: CORRINE BROWN

Like the majority of Americans, I am well aware of the desperate need in our country for comprehensive health care reform.

In fact, the immediate need for reform became crystal clear to me when, over the August district period, I went to a hospital in Jacksonville to visit a friend.

This friend, who had worked in the Duval County school system for over 25 years, had lost his job, had no health insurance, was struggling to support himself and his family, and had no idea how he was going to be able to pay the hospital bill.

For the many, many Americans who find themselves in similar situations - for the woman who cannot get insurance coverage because she is diabetic and has a pre-existing condition, to the one in nine children in America without health care, to the millions of middle-class American citizens who skip necessary treatments because they simply cannot afford them - it is for them that we need to completely reform health care in this country to make sure that all Americans are covered and have access to affordable care.

For Floridians in particular - where more than one in five residents do not have health insurance, and for my constituents in Florida's Third Congressional District and minority communities nationwide - the need for health care reform is obvious.

For the African-American community and Hispanics, groups who make up nearly half of the estimated 50 million Americans who lack insurance, this is imperative.

For America's middle-class families in danger of losing health coverage, and those who often forego the preventive care they need - and for the many who are denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition - again, the urgent need for comprehensive reform is obvious.

Moreover, health care costs have become outright unsustainable, and experts predict that in the near future, one-fifth of our nation's GDP will go toward health care spending. …