Health Care, Poor People, and Shelter Standards
Today on NPR's Morning Edition they featured a story about health care for homeless people in the context of the current debate about health care reform. I posted something about the need for health care reform to reduce homelessness last week. It was a good story indicating that 70% of the homeless population do not have access to any insurance including Medicare/Medicaid across the United States. I believe that in Cleveland that figure is at 80-85% according to Care Alliance. Single adults in Ohio do not have access to Medicaid and very few are old enough to be eligible for Medicare. This puts pressure on the Free Clinic, Care Alliance, MetroHealth, and the neighborhood family practice clinics to provide charity care to the 16,000-17,000 who find themselves homeless and without health care in Cleveland every year.
I attended the Poor People's March on Friday with about other activists in Cleveland including peace activists, those opposed to poverty, those advocating for universal health care, and unions. It was a nice event well guarded by the Cleveland Police, and they were allowed to walk down the in the street angering motorists this year. I did hear one speaker at the Federal building advocating for straying from MLK's non-violence credo. This was disappointing when viewed with the backdrop of violence displayed at the Town Hall Forums. No politician or elected official showed up.
There are now 23 Cleveland City Council Candidates who have signed onto regulating the shelters. This includes 11 candidates who were in office as City Council members in 2008. If you see any candidates over the next two weeks leading up to the primary ask them about the shelter regulations. We regularly update this site as soon as we hear from the candidates.
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