For Immediate Release
March 24, 2009
Contact: Nicole Y. Williams
Congresswoman Barbara Lee Commemorates Cover the Uninsured Week
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement commemorating Cover the Uninsured Week:
“America’s healthcare system is at a crisis level. Not only does it need to be reformed, but it needs a complete overhaul. Over 45 million individuals in America have no health insurance. While Congress took an important step this year to cover 11 million uninsured children, there are still millions of Americans who stand in need of healthcare.
“Being uninsured means going without needed care. It means minor illnesses become major ones because care is delayed. Tragically, it also means that one significant medical expense can wipe out a family’s entire life savings. There are millions of working, uninsured Americans who go to bed every night worrying what will happen to them and their families if a major illness or injury strikes.
“The problem is getting worse. As the price of health care continues to rise, fewer individuals and families can afford to pay for coverage. Fewer small businesses are able to provide coverage for their employees, and those that do are struggling to hold on to the coverage they offer. Additionally, access to health care directly impacts the welfare of individuals in many poor and minority communities. Of the uninsured, 56 percent are low income, and although minorities make up approximately 34 percent of the population, they comprise over half of the nation’s uninsured.
“The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide universal health care. It is time we put in place high quality comprehensive care for all, regardless of one’s ability to pay. We must become a health care provider, not a denier of this fundamental right.”
Cover the Uninsured Week (March 22-28), is a weeklong effort to foster conversation about reforming the nation’s health care system and making affordable health insurance available to the 45 million currently uninsured Americans.
March 24, 2009
Contact: Nicole Y. Williams
Barbara Lee Commemorates World Tuberculosis Day
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) released the following statement commemorating World Tuberculosis Day:
“TB is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world today. Even though it is completely curable, TB kills over 2 million people worldwide each year. Some 30 percent of the world's population, or approximately two billion people, are infected with the tuberculosis bacilli, and one in ten of these people will become sick with active tuberculosis.
“As the leading killer of people infected with HIV, it is critical that we address the global tuberculosis pandemic if we are ever going to achieve success in defeating HIV/AIDS.
“During the last Congress I co-authored the United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008, which reauthorized our global AIDS, TB and Malaria programs and authorized $4 billion in funding for bilateral TB initiatives over the next five years. It was an important step forward, but we must continue our fight.
“I encourage everyone to learn more about TB, as well as the deadly impact of malaria and the global AIDS pandemic on the developing world. With your activism and your help we can increases funding to stop these diseases and save the lives of millions of people.”
As part of the Millennium Development Goals, the world has set its sights on halting and beginning the reverse of tuberculosis incidence by 2015. For more information about tuberculosis and the Global Fund's work to eliminate this disease, please visit "Global Fund and the Three Diseases" at www.TheGlobalFight.org.
The Honorable Barbara Lee (CA-9)
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