Yesterday was a pretty exciting day in many communities as the grass roots political organizations MoveOn.org, Health Care for America Now and labor unions held a series of rallies on health care reform across the country. Here in Pennsylvania, a march was held in downtown Philadelphia and a rally in downtown Pittsburgh.
These demonstrations featured rhetoric that attacks the health care insurance industry. The attacks tended to mischaracterize our contribution to the health care system. Many of the attacks were against some of the issues that we as an industry identified and have already agreed to take action on, like pre-existing conditions.
Now while I don’t agree with some of what the protesters are saying about my industry and health care reform, I, like everyone else at UnitedHealthcare, recognize that everyone has a right to express their opinion as long as it’s done respectfully. And at many of the protest sites around the country, UnitedHealthcare representatives welcomed the protestors and engaged in a brief dialogue on some of the key health care issues. As our nation continues to debate how to best modernize our health care system, we must be respectful of individuals’ varying perspectives on this important issue.
As I have written a number of times in this blog, UnitedHealthcare strongly supports health care reform and making coverage available to all Americans. The proposal put forth by the health care industry is a good one that extends health care coverage to almost everyone, eliminates some of the inequities in current coverage and starts to address the high cost of health care in the United States. I think if some of the protesters read our proposal carefully they would see that we aren’t that far apart.