Health care for all should be a priority Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008 -- 12:01 AM

While the United States has an excellent health care system, unfortunately there are millions of Americans who have no access to affordable health care.

Editor's View
Mary C. Uhler

The severe economic downturn, skyrocketing energy prices, and rising unemployment will no doubt have negative effects on access to health care and health insurance coverage for many Americans.

Health care reform needed

Continuing my reflections during Respect Life Month, I believe health care reform is one of the most urgent issues we need to address in our country. In its Vision for U.S. Health Care, the Catholic Health Association (CHA) emphasizes that health care is fundamental to a healthy, flourishing society. “When people have unmet health needs, it is difficult for them to fully function as members of their families, their workplaces, or their schools, which then affects the broader community and economy,” says the CHA.

But health care reform will only happen when the American people demand it. The injustice of millions of people lacking access to health care must be remedied. Health care should be available and accessible to everyone, paying special attention to the poor and vulnerable. Yet now, one in every seven people in the U.S. lacks basic health insurance coverage. More than nine million children are uninsured.

We can help

We can help change this situation. Here are some suggestions from the CHA:

  • Convene a community meeting on health care reform. Invite the media. 
  • Contact your elected officials and encourage them to prioritize health care reform.
  • Raise the issue for discussion within the social, political, and community organizations in which you are involved.
  • Use the CHA Vision for U.S. Health Care to assess reform proposals and evaluate pending legislation. For more information, go to

Consider what you can do to help provide access to health care for everyone in our country. It is a moral priority.