Lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are expected to tackle health care reform very soon, but Colorado activists are ramping up now, with a host of public events across the state this week that kicked off in Greeley on Saturday. Hundreds of people showed up for a health care “carnival” — part of a growing national campaign called “Health Care for America Now!”
One person there was Rhonda Solis, a mother of two and a member of Hispanic Women of Weld County. She works as the office manager at a Greeley dental office, where she sees low- and even middle-income families who struggle to pay for necessary prescriptions.
“They tell you stories about certain things they have to cut and certain things they don’t do, in order just to be able to pay for their prescriptions.”
Solis says she hopes Congress comes up with a plan that helps guarantee health coverage for everyone. A recent Families USA report found that almost one-third of Coloradans under age 65 went without health insurance at some point over the last two years.
Opponents charge that major health care reform would be too expensive and unfair to private insurers. However, Solis says she sees plenty of families falling through the cracks who don’t qualify for Medicaid but can’t afford private insurance.
“Those are the people who don’t bring their kids into dental offices, or who are not going in for their regular checkups.”
Solis says that in Greeley, issues around health care are even trickier because of tensions and fear that touch the area’s large immigrant community.
“Lots of people are not getting the treatment they need because they don’t feel comfortable even going to a community health center or anything like that.”
The next “Health Care for America Now!” event is planned for Thursday in Pueblo. It includes a march to the offices of Sen. Michael Bennet and Congressman John Salazar.
— Colorado News Connection