Health care reform takes time, but 26-year-old Melissa Horsford is tired of waiting.
“So far, it’s just a bunch of talk and no action,” Horsford said to describe the ongoing debate in Washington. “People in my situation need help.”
Horsford’s ‘sitaution’ is uninsured. She works at a Brooklyn dental office but was recently dropped from a state Medicaid program because she was told she made too much money.
“I make just the right amount to survive, so how is that too much?” Horsford said. “Are you serious? I barely have a little left over to pay my rent at the end of the month.”
Horsford cannot afford private health insurance and her employer does not offer any.
Horsford said she thinks a public option for health care would give her somewhere to turn.
The Senate Finance Committee rejected two attempts to add a public option to Montana Sen. Max Baucus’ health care bill last week.
But some health care experts say this plan is not completely dead.
“We’ve never been so close to expanding health insurance coverage in this country,” said Victor Rodwin, professor of health policy and management at New York University. “If we succeed in reducing the uninsured from 50 million to 40 million or even 35 million, that would be good as far as I’m concerned.”
Rodwin said the public option debate has been prolonged by misinformation and accusations that the plan is socialist and will lead to a government takeover.
“A public option is only about financing health care,” Rodwin said. “Clinical decisions will still be made by doctors, by nurses. This has nothing to do with socialism. Nothing.”