An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the saying goes. It reflects a wisdom that we have often lost sight of in this country when it comes to health care. As a nation and a state, we have failed to make the investment in a rational health care system. The result is 460,000 Nebraskans who were uninsured for all or part of 2007-2009, skyrocketing health care costs, and a health care system that doesn’t focus on prevention and therefore pays for more expensive care later.
But, there is good news. Congress is finally on the cusp of significant reform that can bring about a guarantee of quality, affordable health care for all. Addressing this problem is critical, not only to our health, but to our economy and the vitality of our society. Appleseed is deeply engaged in this work through the Health Care for America Now coalition and our work with many other dedicated partners around the state. I expect this blog will talk a great deal about this work in the coming weeks and months and we hope you’ll join us in this effort.
Even as national health care reform moves forward, there are steps that the state can take to improve health care here. This year the state Legislature recognized the wisdom of Ben Franklin’s words and passed a law that makes it possible for more children to access health care through Nebraska’s Kids Connection program (the state’s public health insurance program). Now, more of our children will be able to go to a doctor when they are sick, will be healthy enough to learn in school, and will get the preventative care they need to give their lives a healthy start.
A great start to what we hope will be an exciting year for health care reform.