The health care reform bill is now awaiting the signature of President Obama. ESSENCE.com hit the streets of Harlem, New York to find out what average citizens think about the bill having been passed by the House of Representatives. Some were willing to voice their opinions and be recognized while others preferred to remain anonymous.
A woman in a wheelchair told her story but did not reveal her name, “I went to the emergency room awhile back for my heart and they would not see me because I did not have some type of insurance. I don’t know what I think about the new legislation getting passed, but I hope it’s for the best.”
Find out now what other people said and share your thoughts.
Profession: System Analysts
“I think it’s great but it is a shame that none of the Republicans actually voted for the bill. It shows me where the country really is. I think health insurance is a basic human right, it should not be a matter of discussion at all.”
Profession: Graphic Designer
“It is a long time coming for a country like the United States to finally get universal health insurance. I have public health insurance because I have one child and another one on the way.”
“My only fear is that while it seems that it is a victory for the country to have universal health care for everyone, I think that the Republicans are going to fight this and get revenge on the Democrats.”
“I think the process has allowed Americans who generally don’t pay attention to the issues to partake in the discussion and dialogue in a very different way. Perhaps they will take responsibility for their own health care as well, and hold the politicians and the powers that be accountable for our health care situation. I am hoping that this really sets us on a path for further reform. This is a start but I do not think we have completely hit the answer.”
Profession: Record Producer
“I think it’s revolutionary in a sense of something of that magnitude was actually put through. But also it was a little scary because it will take some time before we get to see the long-term effects in the health industry and the private practice.”
“You cannot walk a block in a neighborhood like Harlem and not realize the importance of universal health care for this community. You got mental health issues, the ravages of drugs, high blood pressure and diabetes so you see it everywhere. You cannot think of America as the greatest democracy—as we like to call ourselves—and not take care of these people in your neighborhood. So that’s why I am happy.”
Profession: Harlem Resident
“I mean everyone needs insurance. There’s more poor than rich so I think it’s a good deal.”