OTHER VOICES

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS - —Patt Mor­ri­son in the Losan­ge­les­times

“Fore­clo­sure is not just a metaphor­i­cal epi­demic, but a bona fide pub­lic health cri­sis. When bread­win­ners be­come ill, they miss work, lose their jobs, face daunt­ing med­i­cal bills—and have trou­ble mak­ing mort­gage pay­ments as a re­sult. … A grow­ing body of re­search shows that fore­clo­sure it­self harms the health of fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties. In our 2008 sur­vey of 250 peo­ple un­der­go­ing fore­clo­sure in the Philadel­phia area, 32% re­ported miss­ing doc­tor’s ap­point­ments and 48% said they let pre­scrip­tions go un­filled, sig­nif­i­cantly higher rates than oth­ers in their com­mu­nity. … (Other) re­search found that peo­ple liv­ing in high-fore­clo­sure ar­eas … were sig­nif­i­cantly more likely than those in less hard-hit neigh­bor­hoods to be hos­pi­tal­ized for con­di­tions like di­a­betes, high blood pres­sure and heart fail­ure. … The set­tle­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions with the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try over mort­gage fraud and abuse should in­clude money for health­care. Mil­lions of Amer­i­cans are locked into mort­gages they can’t af­ford. If we can’t help them stay in their homes, the least we can do is help them stay alive.”

—Re­searchers Craig E. Pol­lack and Ju­lia F. Lynch in the NewYork­Times “Repub­li­cans should have long ago seized health­care re­form and uni­ver­sal cov­er­age with both right hands and made it their own. It is eco­nom­i­cally coun­ter­pro­duc­tive—even eco­nom­i­cally de­struc­tive—that in this na­tion, health­care goes with the job, not with the in­di­vid­ual. One of the big­gest brakes I know on en­tre­pre­neur­ial po­ten­tial here is the catas­tro­phe of health­care. How many peo­ple with great ideas and the know-how to start their own busi­nesses have to stay en­slaved to the cor­po­ra­tions they al­ready work for, in jobs where they feel frus­trated and wasted, just to keep the health in­sur­ance that comes with the job—some­thing they can’t get, or can’t af­ford, on their own? ... Repub­li­cans of­ten in­voke the past, so how about rolling the clock back 100 years, to the Repub­li­can Roo­sevelt, Theodore Roo­sevelt, run­ning in 1912 as a Bull Moose on a plat­form that called for ‘the pro­tec­tion of home life against the haz­ards of sick­ness, ir­reg­u­lar em­ploy­ment and old age through the adop­tion of a sys­tem of so­cial in­sur­ance.’”

“One of the big­gest brakes I know on en­tre­pre­neur­ial po­ten­tial here is the catas­tro­phe of health­care.”

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