But changes this big simply can't come from just the top down. That's been tried before, and it doesn't work. To get this done right, we've got to build support for universal health care in every city and town in America - and we've got to start today.
So this morning, I'm writing a letter to the editor of my local newspaper to share why I personally support John's plan for universal health care - and I'd like to ask you to write one too.
You can write and submit your own letter to the editor of a local newspaper using our online tool, and it only takes a few minutes. Just click the link below:
There's no need to be a policy expert - just speak from the heart.
Here's the letter I'm sending to the Chapel Hill News, my hometown paper:
I'm writing to share why I strongly support John Edwards' plan for universal health care, besides the reason that he is my husband.
America has the best health care in the world; we know this because people with complex and intractable problems, the most desperate patients from around the world come to America for treatment. But for too many Americans, that same high quality treatment is not available. Under John's plan, it would be.
John's universal health care plan guarantees every American health care, preserves freedom of choice and shares responsibility among individuals, employers and the government. But these broad principles don't tell the real story. The real story is personal and poignant, the stories of people who do not have health care coverage at all, like a young breast cancer patient I met from Alaska, or the people for whom a pre-existing condition means their coverage doesn't cover their most dire medical needs, like a woman I met in Ohio.
I'm one of the lucky ones. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had health insurance coverage, and I could afford care. When I found a lump in my breast, I never had to think about whether I could afford treatment. I simply got the treatment I needed. That should be true for every one of us. A nation that prides itself on equality cannot have me getting the best treatment available while a woman I met from Greensboro, N.C. has to depend on the kindness of strangers for her treatment.
It is not just that John's universal health care proposal will make our health care coverage system more efficient - though it will. It is not just that it will boost our economic productivity - though it will. It is not just that people stuck in jobs they do not like because they cannot lose their health insurance will now be free to change jobs or start a business - although they will. It is not even that it will provide pressure to stop the spiraling health care costs - though it does that, too. It is that the lives of the woman in Alaska, and the mother in Ohio, and the Greensboro breast cancer patient will be better.
And that's why I will work hard every day to make sure John's plan becomes a reality. And I hope you'll join me.
Please take a few minutes to write and send your own personal letter about why you support John's plan. Together, we can make universal health care a reality.