Lupus Research Institute Echoes Call to Lower the “Body Count at Home”

Responds to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/opinion/13kristof.html">Nicholas D. Kristof’s Op-Ed</a> on the health care debate in mid-September letter to the editor of <em>The New York Times</em>

Mr. Kristof has it right: in this health care debate, the most fundamental issue isn’t technical but moral. Do we really want to be the kind of nation that lets a 32-year-old woman with lupus die because she can’t get health insurance? Arguments pro and con the hotly debated legislative options aside, something must be done. This week we have advocates from across the country descending on Capitol Hill to plead for just this: empathy and action for the 1.5 million Americans with lupus who, like Nikki White, may meet an untimely end not because there aren’t some ways to help manage this dangerous disease, but because they can’t afford it. As a nonprofit organization, we do what we can through direct services and research to help keep people with lupus alive. Now it’s our government’s turn to help lower the immorally high “body count at home.”

Margaret G. Dowd
Lupus Research Institute National Coalition
New York, NY