by William H. Woodwell, Jr.
The League of Women Voters devotes these pages to a special call for action by the next Administration on four priority issues: climate change, which threatens our environment, our economy and public health; our health care system, which currently leaves 47 million Americans uninsured, while wreaking havoc on the economy because of skyrocketing costs; our immigration system, which has not addressed the status of 12 million unauthorized immigrants living and working in the United States and is incapable of dealing with either legal or illegal immigration; and the growing inequality in wealth and incomes that threatens the very fabric of our society, turning the United States into a land where the rich keep getting richer and everyone else struggles just to get by. The League believes significant progress is possible on each of these four issues. It’s time to stop the partisanship and political wrangling. It’s time for real action to build a better, stronger America.
by Diane Rowland and Adele Shartzer
As the 2008 presidential election year opened, health care reform ranked just below Iraq as a public priority. Filling the gaps in coverage that leave millions uninsured, constraining rising health care costs, and improving the quality of care are the goals of reform efforts. In 2006, 47 million Americans lacked health insurance coverage. This article reviews the role of public programs as building blocks for coverage of the diverse group of people that are uninsured.