46 million

Today in this great nation of ours, over 46 million people are without health insurance. That works out to be 1 in every 7 Americans or the combined population of 24 states!

Ok, you've probably tuned out already - "there she goes on her social justice bandwagon again. When is she going to do another silly blog quiz or give us the scoop on novitiate life?" Although, odds are among my bloggy readers are a few of the 46 million.

I've written about the issue before - in particular the Catholic Church's teaching that "[a]ffordable and accessible health care is an essential safeguard of human life, a fundamental human right, and an urgent national priority" (US Bishops Conference, Faithful Citizenship).

What drives me crazy is that as a nation, as citizens, we don't have the political will to do something we know is a no-brainer. People deserve medical care. We can provide it. And yet, it always heads to the back burner.

This week is Cover the Uninsured Week - a time to move the issue to the front burner where it belongs. This year's campaign is about Covering America's Kids because the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is up for Congressional approval. Did I mention that 8 of the 46 million are kids?

What can we do? Visit the Cover the Uninsured Week website for ideas on what to do and to learn more. If you're in the mood, why not drop a note to your Representative or Senator asking them to insure our kids - you can learn more about the SCHIP reauthorization bill here.

But perhaps most importantly, as people of faith we must pray:

Creator God, help us to truly see that we are all your children, and to act accordingly. We are each created in your image and likeness, with inherent human dignity. Give us the strength to treat each other with respect. Grant us the resolve to work to ensure that all our brothers and sisters, especially children, have access to basic health care. We pray as always in the name of your son and our brother, Jesus Christ. Amen.

1 comment:

Garpu the Fork said...

Sadly I think something needs to be done about the attitude that if a person can afford insurance if they work hard enough. I know I've gotten the line from my mom that I should just get another job (or three), so that I could afford insurance. I know people working 2-3 jobs, one of which already 40 hours a week, and they're still not able to feed their families. It's not a matter of who works hard enough, it's the fact that people can work themselves sick, yet still not make a living wage. Until the rest of the population understands this, I don't think we'll see healthcare for everyone. Sadly attitudes change slowly, especially in the political climate we're in.