Health Care Campaign Seeks Prescription for Change

Friday, July 17, 2009 at 04:08 PM

A young Florida mother -- denied health insurance due to odd heart
palpitations -- suffers a heart attack, financially devastating her
family. A California widow dies after her health insurance refuses to
pay for care. A 62-year-old loses his job, cannot find health
insurance and now is losing his sight because he can't afford surgery. These are a few of the stories told on, an
organization working to make affordable health care insurance
available to all Americans.

"Americans shouldn't sacrifice freedoms -- giving up dreams of a better education or another child, or staying in jobs and relationships we dislike -- just because we don't have health insurance or fear losing it," the group's web site states. From organizing state-specific movements to bringing Americans with health-insurance woes to Washington D.C. so legislators can hear their constituent's stories first hand, is working to reform health care.

Sponsored by Consumer Reports Health, a Consumer Reports division that offers detailed research to help consumers make health care decisions, examines the latest legislative policy and evaluates how those proposals would help or hurt average Americans.

Headed by DeAnn Friedholm, who has worked for 25 years on health care issues, the group also focuses on telling the stories of those struggling to cope with America's broken health care system. A woe Friedholm understands firsthand after she spent a year without health insurance coverage due to her pre-existing conditions. has a form that the public can use to tell their own stories, which may then be featured on the web site. "They'll hear what you're dealing with every day -- maddening insurance claims, spiraling premiums and co-pays, endless waits for care," the site states.

The site also has a blog that offers timely updates on the ever-changing landscape of health care reform. If you have an RSS reader such as Google Reader or Bloglines, you can subscribe to the blog's RSS feed to keep up with the latest news from the site.

Information from Consumer Reports magazine is also featured, such as an examination of the five most common fears about health reform.

The magazine tackles the idea that faceless government bureaucrats will come between you and your doctor. "Private health insurance already comes between you and your doctor," according to an August 2009 article in Consumer Reports magazine. "And because each company sets its own rules, it's hard to imagine a more bureaucratic system."

Another objection is that reform could take away the good coverage provided by your employer. "If you're satisfied with your job-based coverage, you would be able to keep it," according to the article.

What would change is the employers who don't offer health insurance would either start to provide it or contribute to a fund that helps employees buy it on their own, the article states. "If health reform isn't passed, economic experts say health insurance premiums will eat up one-fourth of workers' overall pay in just nine years," according to the web site. "Washington has to act to give us affordable health care."