Health care reform vital for all Americans

For decades, both Democratic and Republican politicians have been searching for a way to reform the broken health care system. When President Barack Obama took office a little more than one year ago, a sweeping overhaul of health care reform became a leading domestic priority. On Saturday, the House of Representatives made that priority more than just a promise as tangible efforts toward universal health care were made. That day, the House passed a historic sweeping health care bill by a narrow margin of 220-215. Finally.

After years of discussions and months of deliberations over this hefty bill of somewhere around 2,000 pages, it’s unfortunate and unfavorable that the product of those deliberations was not completely bipartisan. More importantly, however, the bill that passed through the House on Sunday is a true landmark, and one that can lead America toward a health care system that would ensure equality by providing health care for all.

We believe this bill is long overdue. According to the World Health Organization, throughout American history, a greater percentage of total income in our nation is spent on health care than in any United Nations member state except for East Timor. And yet, medical debt is the principal cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States. Also, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the United States is the “only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage.” Those statistics have plagued the unnecessary and possibly preventable debts, bankruptcies and even deaths of many citizens. Too many people do not receive health care. Being poor or unemployed should not be an excuse to allow anyone to go without insurance. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this bill would increase the number of people covered by health insurance by 13 percent.

This bill has a tough, long way to go before the health care reform will be implemented in our health insurance plans – and even before it makes its way out of the Senate. For now, the bill is in the Senate’s court and all eyes are on our senators as they move forward with this health care overhaul. There will be many hurdles to cross, and many compromises to be made, and those will take time. But once those are taken care of and the Senate can agree on one comprehensive bill that will be for the greater good, we can move forward to an exciting and unprecedented American future of universal health care. And as Obama said late Saturday night, we look forward to seeing this comprehensive health insurance reform being signed into law by the end of the year.