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MLK Friend: “Dream” Included Health Care

January 21, 2008

Detroit, MI – Health care is a human right. Health care reform advocates are making that message part of today's celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Michigan, where an initiative requiring the state to reform health care is just getting underway. Marian Wright Edelman with the Children's Defense Fund worked with Dr. King on several projects, and says his philosophy on health care should be kept in mind in the process.

"We should be remembering, as he indicated while he was alive, that of all of the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

CDF backed the Congressionally-approved expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), although it was repeatedly vetoed by President Bush, who cited concerns about cost and a possible adverse impact on the private insurance market.

The state estimates that more than one million Michigan residents have no health insurance coverage. Edelman believes statistics like that should spur the types of actions that Dr. King had wanted to see.

"In this wonderful observance of Dr. King's birthday, in which the nation is engaged, it is so important that we follow him, rather than simply celebrate him."

More information on the CDF is available at

Deborah Smith/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - MI