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Thinking Big by Nathaniel Loewentheil, James Lardner

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7 Health Care for America

Roger Hickey

LONG before anyone was nominated or elected, the voters of 2008 had gotten one message across loud and clear: fix our dysfunctional health care system! For obvious reasons (and big reasons that aren’t so obvious), the leaders of 2009 must heed that call.

America’s health care system is in meltdown. More than 45.7 million of us have no health insurance. But even those with good insurance face rising costs and a growing risk of losing the protection they have. Every year, tens of millions of Americans go uninsured for long periods—when a layoff, a divorce, or illness itself disrupts their ability to get or pay for coverage. (Forty-one percent of working-age Americans making $20,000 to $40,000 per year ...

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