The Daily Record

We Cannot Allow Reform Of Health Care To Stall

Daily Record — Monday, June 8, 2009

Letter to the Editor

A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — "Health Reform: The Cost of Failure" — gives us a glimpse of just how bad things could get if we don't take actions to fix our broken health care system.

The report shows that if health reform is not enacted, within 10 years the cost of health care for businesses could double and the number of uninsured Americans could reach 66 million, with middle-income families hardest hit. There would be large growth in government insurance programs like Medicaid, major increases in health care spending by everyone and more care that doctors and hospitals must provide without getting paid.

In New Jersey, we simply can't afford for members of our state Legislature and their colleagues in Washington to get this wrong. Already there are more than 1.3 million people in our state who lack health coverage and do not get the care they need. Our businesses are struggling under the weight of health care costs.

Fixing our health care system won't be easy and not everyone is going to get exactly what they want. If we all work together — patients and doctors, businesses and government, Democrats and Republicans — we can build on what works in the current system and fix what is broken. That means reining in costs, focusing on quality care and ensuring that all Americans have choices — including choice of private health insurance or a new public health insurance plan — so they can decide what's best for them.

JAMES WOODSON
Health Care Organizer,
NJ Citizen Action
Highland Park

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