Message to Congress: Please act soon on health care reform.
I have made it clear to Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) that I support any move that will bring us closer to true and lasting reform in our nation’s health care system. While the political path forward for reform may be daunting, nothing can be more difficult than the real struggles that Memphians are facing every day with regard to their health care.
Unemployment in our area tends to trend about one point above the national average, which means that coverage and benefits for thousands of Memphians are in jeopardy as we speak. Poverty in Memphis afflicts one out of every five people, and the statistics among children and minorities are especially troubling.
I’m a strong proponent of fundamentally changing our nation’s approach to health care, which includes promoting healthier lifestyles among our city’s youth, creating more competition among insurance carriers to keep costs down, and restricting the ability of insurers to withhold coverage from individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Our struggles with the Regional Medical Center have made this issue incredibly important to the future of our entire community. The Med currently serves thousands of uninsured individuals from five states. For trauma and burn victims, we are the only resource in this region. Expanding health care coverage for more families across our country would ease the untenable financial burden on the Med by creating a healthier, stronger Mid-South.
I urge Congress to follow the will of the people on this issue and make real reform a reality before it’s too late.