Markell focuses on improving access to health care

    Markell has signed a proclamation declaring April to be Healthy Delawareans Today and Tomorrow month.

    Delaware Governor Jack Markell (D) visited the Claymont Community Center to declare April as “Healthy Delawareans Today and Tomorrow Month”.  That mouthful of a title honors the Healthy Delawarean program, a cooperative effort among a number of public and private groups designed to provide free or low-cost health care to state residents without insurance.

    Markell says the program has helped thousands get well, without waiting for the state or federal government to take action.  “Nobody here was waiting to see what they did in Washington.  Nobody was waiting to see whether Dover passed a new law.  People here said, ‘We’ve got people who have needs, and we’re going to make sure that these needs are addressed one way or the other.'”  Markell credited the United Way, Christiana Care, AstraZeneca and many other groups who came together several years ago to meet the need.  “This is not a partisan issue.  This is not a level of government issue.  This is just about Delawareans getting together to work cooperatively on behalf of the people of our state.”

    Congressman Michael Castle (R) says the health care reform bill, which he voted against, is now the law of the land, and state leaders now have the responsibility to carry it out as well as possible.  He says the reform effort won’t erase the need for programs like Healthy Delawareans.  “These programs are not going to go away.  There’s no way you’re going to create a large, single payer system that’s going to take over health care in this country.”  Castle says the bill will help more people get coverage and will tie in with the efforts underway in the program.  “The bottom line is that we need to make sure that everybody out there  knows that they have a place where they can go to receive some good modicum of health care that can make a difference as far as they’re concerned.”

    A pamphlet that outlines the services offered at facilities around the state can be found online at delaware211.org.

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