As a Filipino immigrant, living in this country, I find myself uninsured and have been for the past three years. My employer does not offer health insurance and I cannot afford to purchase an individual plan. I worry that I will get sick or injured and not be able to afford the care that I need. Too many other people I know in the immigrant community and beyond are facing the same situation. The nation’s health-care system is broken. The time for reform is now.

Health-care reform must include a public option. Insurance companies have not taken the initiative to make health coverage affordable for everyone. It is vital to the success of health-care reform that a public option to private insurance be established. All residents should be eligible to purchase such an option.

Everyone deserves the right to affordable health care, regardless of race or immigration status. I believe that all residents of the United States should be treated on an equal basis in every aspect of health care. Exclusion based on immigration status creates disparities in access to care and in the health outcomes of communities of color. Reform proposals must create opportunities for every individual and family to obtain quality health care.

Health-care reform that doesn’t include everyone is discriminatory and wrong. As human beings, we are all equal, and we all deserve the right to be healthy and to survive. Health-care reform must cover immigrants, regardless of their documentation status.

Nicole Hodgkiss, Lewiston

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