Insuring the uninsurable: The sick are losing a safety net against financial ruin

The Sacramento Bee
March 11, 2001

"Every citizen who can't get health insurance is a black mark against a society that claims to be civilized. But those whose plight ought to cause the biggest pangs of conscience are the medically uninsurable: men and women who are willing to pay for individual health insurance but who are denied individual coverage by insurance carriers because of pre-existing medical conditions."

"A health insurance system worthy of the name ought to have mechanisms to make sure that even people with pre-existing conditions can get covered. A universal system, in which all citizens were required to participate, could do that, making everybody broadly and progressively share the higher costs of covering the sick."

"In a state as rich as California, it's a disgrace that more and more people with chronic illnesses face financial ruin because they are turned away for health insurance."

Comment: Let's hope that our "biggest pangs of conscience" for the "medically uninsurable" do not deter us from seeking a solution that will include coverage for the "financially uninsurable" who should be generating equally big "pangs." Only by including everyone can a society erase all of its black marks.