MLK, health care reform and wealth inequality

Martin Luther King, Jr. (National Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights; Chicago, IL; March 25, 1966):

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.

In light of that, and in conjunction with more recent studies on how it is those with the most equality that are the happiest and healthiest, it is encouraging to read an article like this: “In Health Bill, Obama Attacks Wealth Inequality.”

The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.

The bill will also reduce a different kind of inequality. In the broadest sense, insurance is meant to spread the costs of an individual’s misfortune — illness, death, fire, flood — across society. Since the late 1970s, though, the share of Americans with health insurance has shrunk. As a result, the gap between the economic well-being of the sick and the healthy has been growing, at virtually every level of the income distribution.

The health reform bill will reverse that trend. By 2019, 95 percent of people are projected to be covered, up from 85 percent today (and about 90 percent in the late 1970s).

Justin

Hong Kong | London | California | Washington, DC

Christian | Theologian | Musician | Activist | Sojourner

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