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21 Aug, 2009 04:15

Obama health plan fights for survival

There are 46 million Americans without health insurance. President Obama said that reforming healthcare is one of his top priorities but so far partisan politics has gotten in the way of actually accomplishing anything.

Now the pressure is on the Obama administration to reach a deal as members of his own party switch their allegiance over the issue.

The healthcare debate in the United States has really heated up. Protester Lily Starobin nearly fainted at a rally for universal healthcare in Washington D.C. where temperatures soared to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Starobin recovered but her ordeal reinforced her message for reform. She has health insurance but realizes that others who need an ambulance can’t afford the call-out charge which can run into thousands of dollars.

“I mean it makes me feel very lucky and at the same time it makes me feel a little disappointed that it’s not the case for everyone,” Lilly says.

That's exactly why she came to the rally in the first place. Starobin hopes that everyone can have access to affordable healthcare so that if someone has a real emergency they won't have to think twice to get a ride to the hospital.

“It’s unfair that I can go to a doctor for any problem at any time, but for some if something really bad happens they have to fix it themselves or try as hard as they can to not to incur medical expenses,”
Lilly explains her position.

She believes it's a desperate situation that needs to be addressed immediately.

Honora Laszlow and her family don't have health insurance. She says she won't have many options if her kids need emergency medical attention.

“The only thing I can think of is to sell the house and move into an apartment and use that money, because without cover you don’t have many options,” Honora says.

Critics of universal healthcare are equally passionate. They say that everyone should have the option to choose what type of health insurance they want.

But Lilly Starobin thinks that getting a ride in an ambulance should be a right and not a privilege.

“I just think it’s really bad when people don’t get the access that they need, especially in medical situations.”