50/50

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  • If you’re an American under the age of 65, there’s roughly a 50/50 chance that you will find yourself without coverage at some point in the next decade.[Source]

President Obama first highlighted this staggering figure in a weekly address from this past September and detailed how, in our broken health care system, losing insurance can happen to anyone.  At yesterday’s rally, the President reminded us of just how fragile the status quo really is:

Part of what makes this issue difficult is most of us do have health insurance, we still do.  And so -- and so we kind of feel like, well, I don’t know, it’s kind of working for me; I’m not worrying too much.  But what we have to understand is that what’s happened to Natoma, there but for the grace of God go any one of us.  Anybody here, if you lost your job right now and after the COBRA ran out …

So let’s just think about -- think about if you lost your job right now.  How many people here might have had a preexisting condition that would mean it’d be very hard to get health insurance on the individual market?  Think about if you wanted to change jobs.  Think about if you wanted to start your own business but you suddenly had to give up your health insurance on your job.  Think about what happens if a child of yours, heaven forbid, got diagnosed with something that made it hard for them to insure.

For so many people, it may not be a problem right now but it’s going to be a problem later, at any point.  And even if you’ve got good health insurance, what’s happening to your premiums?  What’s happening to your co-payments?  What’s happening to your deductible?  They’re all going up.  That’s money straight out of your pocket.

So the bottom line is this:  The status quo on health care is simply unsustainable. We can’t have -- we can’t have a system that works better for the insurance companies than it does for the American people.

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Today’s number – 50/50 – is the latest in our ‘Health Reform by the Numbers’ series, an online campaign to raise awareness about how we just can’t wait any longer for health insurance reform. You can follow the campaign on Whitehouse.gov and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn.

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