Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Healthcare Reform Is Imperative

Today a bipartisan group of city, county, and state officials joined together with community leaders at the Borinquen Health Care Center in Miami to bring everyone's attention to a very critical issue that we are battling on a daily basis- rising health care costs. In Miami-Dade, more than 600,000 residents do not have Health Insurance, and more than 120,000 of them are children. These numbers are simply unacceptable.
Lack of Health Insurance disproportionately affects minority populations. In Miami-Dade, 30% of Hispanics, 25% of Blacks, and 39% of people of other ethnicities lack Health Insurance. The Health Disparities Report released today by the White House, racial and ethnic minorities and low-income populations experience serious disparities in rates of insurance and access to health care.
Miami is in particular need of Healthcare reform. According to the Millman Index he average total medical costs for a family of four rose 7.4% in the past year to $16,771. Miami has the highest health care costs in the entire country, with an average of $20,280. More than 40% of that came out of the pockets of Miamians. Exploding Healthcare costs have created a troubling burden for local businesses and government. In just the past seven years, premiums in Florida have increased by an unbelievable 72%.
Every day, more and more Miami residents are forced into bankruptcy and foreclosure because their health fails or because of an accident. And the longer we wait the worse it will get. The more people lose their healthcare coverage, the more costs will increase, along with the drag on our City’s economy. The time for action and reform is now- we can no longer sit by and watch as rising Healthcare costs cripple our economy and endanger our citizens.

- Manny