COLUMBUS, OH - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted an event in Columbus today to celebrate the historic passage of health reform - signed into law earlier this month. Sen. Brown was joined by elected officials and Ohioans from across the state who have urged him to fight for comprehensive health reform.
"We live in a country that is stronger for every American who has a good job, a secure home, and a secure retirement - and where every family in America deserves a family doctor," Brown said. "As a nation, we are one step closer to ensuring that parents never again have to choose between putting food on their table or visiting their family doctor. We are one step closer to making medical bankruptcies a thing of the past."
Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman and U.S. Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH) also attended tonight's rally. Sen. Brown has gone to the floor on a near-daily basis to read letters from Ohioans who have written him to share their personal tribulations with the current health care system. Brown invited these Ohioans and advocates from across the state to tonight's celebration of the enactment of health reform.
Speakers at Thursday's event included:
• A teenager from Lucas County who was rejected by every insurance company due to her pre-existing condition: diagnoses with epilepsy and Asperger syndrome. Her parents have sold their home and amassed thousands of dollars in debt to pay for her health care.
• A Franklin County man who has had difficulties in purchasing health insurance: After being laid off from his job, he applied for private health insurance but his wife was denied because she was diagnosed with mild and treatable high blood pressure.
• A Montgomery County woman who has paid more than $125,000 in health care bills over the past six years: When her illness struck, she was a partner in a law firm with good insurance. But once she became too sick to work, she lost her employer-sponsored insurance and was forced to fend for herself. She and her family of four went on COBRA for as long as they could, then paid $27,000 per year for insurance on the individual market, where medical underwriting runs rampant. She recently traded that plan in for a bare-bones policy that costs nearly $15,000 a year, but does not cover prescription drugs and has a $5,000 deductible.