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On The Campaign Trail

Two healthcare professionals, registered nurse Bethany Winder and Dr. Kristine Hembre, DO, are attracting the attention of local Democratic candidates at their monthly gatherings in support of universal healthcare. In attendance at their last meeting – held at the N3 Brewhouse – were Colorado House District 18 primary rivals Marc Snyder and Terry Martinez, Colorado Senate District 9 candidate Gil Armendariz, and Colorado House District 20 candidate Kent Jarnig, House District 19 candidate Asia Zanders, and state treasurer candidate Bernie Douthit.

Ms. Winder and Dr. Hembre are the leaders of one of the 23 state wide affiliates of the Colorado Foundation for Universal Healthcare which is based in Boulder and was founded in 1994 by psychologist Dr. Ivan J. Miller. The main goal of this state-wide group is to educate people about the complexities and inadequacies of America’s insurance based health care system. According to Dr. Miller, insurance based health care is unique to the United States, too complicated, does not cover everyone, and drives up cost.

Ms. Winder spoke too about her personal frustrations with the complexities of insurance based healthcare. Ms. Winder’s husband, and engineer, has changed jobs frequently, and with each change came a new healthcare provider with different rules and costs. And she has found insurance based health care very expensive.

Dr. Hembre also has strong feelings on the health care debate. One of her main issues is her opposition to employer based health insurance because it allows employers to know about health issues involving its employees. This can compromise an employee’s health care choices because an employee may not want his employer to be aware of some conditions, like HIV or mental health issues. Dr Hembre also noted that people’s fear of government sponsored health care is unfounded since so many people already have government sponsored health care – all federal, state, county, and city employees, all active U.S. military and veterans , and those on medicaid and medicare. So obviously the government is already playing a dominant role in providing healthcare. The ones that seem to be suffering the most are people that are working at low paying jobs that do not provide health care benefits, but who make too much money to qualify for medicaid. The working poor.

Ms Winder and Dr. Hembre would like to invite you to their next meeting, which will be held Sunday, May 20, at 6:30 PM in the office of The Rocky Mountain Film Institute in the Lincoln Center at 2727 North Cascade in Colorado Springs. On this date the film “Fix It,” a documentary about businesses and healthcare, will be shown and a discussion will follow. If you can’t make this meeting, watch for future meeting notices put out by the El Paso County Democratic Party.

~James Schneiter, PCP Precinct 103

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