Former 2004 Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s visit to Denver today can’t come a moment too soon for the 450,000 Colorado workers who don’t have health care insurance.
As President Barack Obama calls for comprehensive health care reform and Gov. Bill Ritter’s Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform fizzled under the budget crisis, a recent report by the liberal think tank American Progress on the potential failure of health care reform puts things into bleak perspective.
In America without health care reform is an America where families face ever-higher health insurance premiums, businesses drop coverage and trim employee benefits, doctors lack access to objective information about the treatments they provide, and millions of Americans live just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy. It’s an America that spends billions on tests and treatments that cannot be shown to improve health — even as more than 50 million people go without health insurance.
How bad are things in Colorado? We’re now among the top 10 states in the nation with the highest rates of employed people without health insurance.
Dean was a family practice physician prior to his political career that culminated as chairman of the Democratic National Committee in February. Now, the indefatigable doctor is on a cross-country tour talking about the need for a universally-accessible public health care insurance option.
The Denver leg of the Stand with Dr. Dean trip, sponsored by Democracy for America and the Colorado Health Care for America Now Coalition, will feature a 5 p.m. town hall meeting at the First Unitarian Church, 14th and Lafayette, Denver.