Wednesday, April 15, 2009

OWL and Health Care

Dear OWL Members,

Last week we began a monthly national call-in on our nation’s struggle for universal health care. OWL has a very large stake in this debate as we have advocated for over twenty years for a single system of health insurance, modeled in part on Medicare, which would cover everyone. Why is this so important to us when so many of our members are already covered by Medicare?

First, as OWL members we understand the inter-connectedness of everyone in our society. As caregivers of children and the disabled it affects us when they cannot see a doctor. As workers, we know the suffering when a co-worker struggles through a pain she can’t afford to diagnose. And of course, many of us are not eligible for Medicare and struggle ourselves to find health insurance.

Second, we understand the economic consequences of concentrating the cost of health insurance on only some industries, the wasteful administrative burden of determining who is covered for what, and the lost opportunity to control costs when coverage is haphazard and dispersed.

Why a Medicare-for-All model? Two main reasons should convince anyone; it is simpler and it would eliminate a lot of unnecessary paperwork and by doing so reduce costs.

Health care coverage is possible and OWL will continue to present the voices of midlife and older women. Thank you all for being a part of the most important policy push of the American 21st century. Let’s see if we can make it happen.