“We are the Uninsured” promotes equal access to quality health insurance

(Plain Press, September 2006) A group of uninsured patients at Neighborhood Family Practice on the near west side of Cleveland has come together to form “We are the Uninsured”, a group committed to increasing access to affordable health coverage.

 This is especially important given the upcoming Ohio Senate and House of Representatives election this fall. The number of uninsured people in our Cleveland community as well as throughout the state of Ohio is growing. The group also strives to correct public misperceptions of the uninsured as lazy or uncaring and to put a face on the uninsured by bringing the problems created for uninsured patients to the attention of legislators.

 Currently there are 2 million people in Ohio without health coverage. This is despite the fact that 4 out of 5 uninsured Americans belong to a family in which at least one adult is working (Families USA, June 2004).

 The group is sending messages to current legislators and candidates urging them to place the issue of access to quality, affordable healthcare for all on their agenda. A legislative event is also in the works for early September. Legislators and candidates will come to listen to concerns of uninsured people and view the photo exhibit that shows what life is like without health coverage that “We are the Uninsured” is putting together.

 The group is also collecting stories of the experiences of uninsured people. Legislators need to know that those they represent include hardworking, motivated people who happen to be uninsured. The purpose of this group is to get community members together and let the voice of the uninsured be heard loud and clear. There is strength in numbers, especially when every vote is counted. The group is open to uninsured people, those with poor quality insurance and those concerned about quality health care for their fellow community members.

 Not having health insurance affects everyone in the community. Healthy people make a healthy community where everyone can contribute their best. People with quality health insurance are healthier because they have the freedom to see their doctor for wellness checkups and other services that can prevent sickness or keep sickness or disease from becoming worse. This means children miss less school days and adults miss less work days. Every human being has the right to quality, affordable health care.

 Meetings with a dinner are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 6pm at Neighborhood Family Practice 3569 Ridge Rd., next to Dave’s Supermarket. Please join us to share your experiences, ideas and talents. Come put a face on the uninsured! Please contact Johanna Cook at (216) 281-8945 x250 or jcook@nfpmedcenter.org and let us know you are coming. You may also direct any questions or comments to Johanna.

 

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