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Women Take the Lead in Health Care Crisis

What’s your health care story?

Everyone seems to have one. My husband and I recently paid $3,000 for my daughter to receive the most common surgery for children last month and we’re insured. Thank goodness for credit cards!

As we celebrate Labor Day today I can’t help but think that most Americans are hard working people… some are just compensated more than others, a few can pay for their health care costs, while it seems many can’t.

This is an issue that effects us greatly as women. Not only are we impacted for the lack of benefits and fair pay we receive but as mothers our children are greatly effected too.

My story is a far cry from some of the other women I recently interviewed. Last Friday in my small rural town over a thousand proponents and opponents of health care reform showed up at our local veteran’s hall for a town hall meeting hosted by congress person Tom McClintock. “Tea Party” members, primarily senior citizens, arrived early to take their seats. Health care advocates marched outside with their signs urging President Obama to retain a public option and follow in the steps of other industrialized countries, all of which who have some form of universal health care for their citizens.

In interviewing attendees of the event, I heard both sides, one “Tea Party” supporter said “health care is not a citizen right” and when I questioned the medicare he received, he responded that he earned his government health care by working for it. I can’t help but wonder, in a country where citizens can seem so generous and kind to each other in times of strife, how can America turn the blind eye in ensuring that all Americans including children and the middle class receive care that could save our country millions? Let us not forget that one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States is the result of personal health care expenses. And as Michael Moore pointed out in his movie Sicko, the insured are paying exorbitant amounts to maintain their insurance out of pocket expenses.

Many of us are saying enough is enough. Over 150,000 women are working to change this (you might be one of them), women who are members of the progressive organization, MomsRising. Their mission supports M.O.T.H.E.R.S: maternity and paternity leave, open flexible work, T.V. and after school, healthy kids (health care for all children), excellent childcare, realistic and fare wages, and sick days paid.

Through on-line petitions and activism that speaks to women and parents, MomsRising has created significant shifts for America, one of the only countries in the world (besides PaPa New Guinea and Swazi Land) that does not have paid leave for mothers.

Members of MomsRising are demonstrating that each and every one of us can make a difference. These women are nourishing the system and ensuring a healthier future. Real women with real solutions.

Who are the extraordinary Jane’s in your life that are enhancing the planet by advocating health care for all? Share with us at seejanedo@kvmr.org.

Click here to listen to the interview with Joan Blades and MomsRising members.

About Mark Burgess

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