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Who are the 99 percent? Part 2

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Tina Fineberg Occupy Wall Street participants are protesting corporate greed and the ailing economy. Earlier today, Ezra combed throughWe are the 99 percent,” Tumblr, a collection of handwritten signs telling Americans’ stories that has captured media attention. Unemployment, the cost of living, student loans and credit card debt show up in the mix again and again. But perhaps one issue stands out above the rest: the lack of affordable health care.

Advocacy group Health Care for America Now analyzed all 546 posts on “We are the 99 percent” since the Tumblr launched in late August. It found that nearly half of those (262 messages) mention health concerns that range from cost of medication to forgoing treatment to treatment denials.

“My medication is crippling financially, but I NEED IT TO LIVE,” reads one sign.

Another post says, “I am a match to donate a kidney to a friend. I am also unemployed and have no health insurance (laid off of my job of 20 years). I was told by the hospital, largest in Maryland, and my friend’s health insurer, largest in the nation, that I must pay for pre-op exams.”

The health care reform law isn’t a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement. But rising health care costs - and our growing inability to pay them - certainly loom large in the background.


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