It was a pleasure to meet with Chairmen Reed and the members of the policy committee at UPMC Altoona Partnering for Health Services clinic for the uninsured. I applaud the committee’s efforts searching for a possible new method to take care of the uninsured that controls cost, increases access, and promotes prevention. The issue of health care affects us all. The single mother who works everyday at your favorite diner, counting her tips, deciding either to take her insulin or feed her children doesn’t have an R or D on her chest. The political implications of her suffering is neither a left or right wing issue, it is a people issue that she must fight though everyday of her life as she pours your coffee with a smile. There are no Democratic or Republican conventions to attend for the mechanic who has a sick child and uses a large chunk of his income making sure his kid is well taken care despite not having insurance to take of his heart condition.
These are the faces of the people who never had a voice around the table of health care reform. The only method to solve the uninsured problems is to understand who they are. I know that the policy committee learned that today, and hopefully they understood that if we start with patient care first, all of the problems associated with the cost and politics of health care reform will finally be understood. The doctors and nurses of Partnering for Health Services are able to focus on care, not the card you carry. And that focus on care is the only thing that can brings both parties together to ease the suffering of the many and make health care accessible to all whom need it.
-Dr. Zane Gates
Medical Director, Partnering for Health Services UPMC Altoona