One year ago my friend Seth got sick. He was healthy one day and deathly sick the next, but in spite of his terrible pain he refused to see a doctor. Seth had no health insurance.

By the time his brother convinced him to go to the emergency room it was too late. They rushed him into surgery but there was nothing they could do. He never made it out of the hospital. This is America. No one should die because they can't afford health insurance, but every day, thousands of people lose their coverage and thousands more go bankrupt trying to pay their health care bills. Fewer companies provide employee health benefits and more people gamble that they won't get sick.

As the debate about how to fix a broken system rages on in Congress and across the country, powerful lobbies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars scaring people into believing that health care reform is something to fear. That is just a lie. Making health care more affordable and making health insurance available to every American is not scary. It is something every American should want. It is patriotic to support it. To not support it is morally indefensible.

There are no villains in this story. Insurance companies and doctors and hospitals and the government are not intrinsically bad people or businesses. Most of them want to find a way to do the right thing, to communicate civilly, to collaborate in a positive way to solve a huge problem. They may be suspicious of someone else's motives or protective of their own interests, but ultimately everyone wants to be part of the solution.

As communicators, that is our opening. That is where we can play a positive role by encouraging constructive dialogue and keeping the debate transparent and civil.

Don't get fooled again. Now is the time to put people before profits. The time to fix our broken health care system is now.

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