Grand County, welcome to the Sky-Hi Daily News series about health care | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County, welcome to the Sky-Hi Daily News series about health care

Is it a right to have health care? Do we deserve to go to the doctor, to be able to send our children to the doctor? Is it a luxury of the wealthy to survive serious illness because they can afford to pay the medical bills?

Scan through the U.S. Bill of Rights and you’ll see that, in this country, we have the right to freedom of speech and assembly, freedom against search, seizure and cruel or unusual punishment. We have the right to bear arms and practice the religion of our choice.

But health care is not mentioned.

And because it is not considered a right to be healthy in America, many people are not.

When a coalition of nonprofits (including Grand County Public Health and Grand Futures) conducted a survey of area concerns, residents listed affordable health insurance and low paying jobs without benefits as their greatest concerns.

Across Grand County, seasonal and low-wage workers keep their fingers crossed, hoping they won’t get sick or injured because they can’t afford the hospital visits, the surgeries, or the days without work.

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It’s a gamble, they say. But with stakes so high, is it one so many should be taking?

Today, we launched the first piece in a four-part series about health insurance in Grand County.

We want to examine this issue from a few different angles and see if there is any sort of local solution.

Today, we looked at the people who live here. We examined their lives, their pocketbooks and their struggle to insure themselves and their children.

Next Friday, we will look at the effects of this problem in Grand County. With so many people going without health insurance, does it end up costing more for the insured? Are there people putting off preventative care ” worsening their chances when they are finally forced to spring for a hospital visit?

The following week, we will look at what is being done to help. There are programs available. How do they work? Do they work?

During the final week, the Sky-Hi Daily News will invite the community to a round table conversation about the subject. We will meet at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16, to talk about the problem and brainstorm local solutions. We will publish the results of that conversation the following Friday, April 18. Anyone and everyone is invited to attend.

Keep in touch as we go along. Send your thoughts and letters to editor Autumn Phillips at aphillips@grandcountynews.com.

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