Although many Americans say they are doing their best to manage their health, others, especially racial minorities, have insurance plans that are not readily accepted by their health care providers. Or they simply do not have coverage at all. The consequences may be fatal.
Inadequate or unaffordable employer-based health insurance for chronic illness is a barrier to care. Fortunately,
The Republican commitment to improving coverage in states such as
The experience of protracted illness without coverage is all too familiar and potentially deadly. Caregivers, for example, leave jobs with benefits to provide uncompensated care for family members. Caregivers with chronic conditions often are ineligible for public plans such as Medicare or Medicaid. Our research documents this vulnerability. The combination of no coverage and unstable illness is highest among women of pre-retirement age.
Senate Bill 470, or the Medicare at 50 Act, specifically removes the Medicare eligibility barrier by providing the option for any citizen age 50 to 64 to buy into Medicare. Given widespread political support -- 85 percent of
To do this,
Lawmakers such as
The choice is clear. Eighty percent of Americans believe that the federal government should require insurance companies to cover everyone. Delaying or denying coverage to those with preexisting illnesses and conditions is not only a costly decision; it is a moral miscalculation where justice is inevitably denied.
This gap is intolerable. Both
Angel is a professor in the
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