Chicago Roundup
Community Activities Gather Momentum

By Dr. Mujahid Ghazi

 

Community Builder’s Monthly Forum Discusses Health Care Reform

 

Pictures above: Community Builder’s Monthly Forum Discusses Health Care Reform

Recent monthly forum of Community Builders discussed the burning issue of Health Care Reform and Health Care Activism by Muslims. About 100 community members attended this meeting. It was moderated by Dr. Khalid Sami while Dr. Faisal Qazi, president of American Muslim Health Professionals (AMHP), made a presentation.

He said that the private- and government-aided insurance only covers 85% of the American population and 25 million out of these are underinsured. He said that 52 million, nearly 15% of Americans, are uninsured with 1.1 million becoming uninsured with each percent increase in unemployment. He said AMHP is a faith-based, professional organization representing Muslim health professionals committed to improving the health of individuals and populations. With a vision to be the leader in improving public health through efforts inspired by the Islamic traditions. He further stated that this vision has led to the belief in comprehensive health care reform that will enhance access to high-quality, affordable care for all Americans. Discussing the private health insurance market-coverage and costs, he dilated on the reforms needed in the private sector. He said that a strong and robust regulation of private health insurance is needed. He said currently over 20% of individuals who seek health insurance in the non-group market are either denied coverage or their pre-existing condition is excluded from their coverage. He stressed that changes need to be made so that all those who apply are guaranteed a health insurance policy at an affordable price.

He said the insurance companies at the time of renewal tend to increase the premium. AMHP suggests guaranteed renewals at consistent premiums. He pointed out the practice of rescissions by the insurance company where they cancel the coverage after the policy holder falls ill. He mentioned numerous other malpractices and suggested corrective measures.

He asked the community members to become proactive in this campaign.

Earlier, Dr. Azher Quader introduced the learned speaker. This meeting was held at the newly established Northwest Suburban College. Dr. Niazi introduced the institution and said that this academic institution is established to empower the community and provide ways and means for unemployed individuals to become useful members of the community. Later, Mr. Rashid Salam answered questions from the audience about the academic programs and facilities available at the college.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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