Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dear Mr. President

I've been thinking about health care a lot lately and decided to write a letter to my representatives and the President. I plan to send the letters this week. Here is what I wrote - what do you think? Did I miss anything? Let me know.

Dear President Obama:

I am asking you to keep fighting for true health care reform because it matters more to people that they know. Like most Americans, I didn't realize that our existing health care system was letting down so many people. I did all the “right” things – went to college, worked my way up the ranks in a big company, completed my MBA, saved, bought a house, fell in love and married, and had children. We subscribed to the company health plan and were relatively happy with the coverage.

Then our world was turned upside down when our youngest child was diagnosed with profound hearing loss and cerebral palsy. I learned first-hand how great health insurance is if you are healthy, employed at a large corporation with reasonable health insurance rates and good coverage and how variable and challenging it is for people working at small businesses with hefty insurance rates and minimal coverage.

Recently, I lost my job and we had to change insurance. We worried about pre-existing conditions. We could not use the Cobra subsidy since my husband is able to obtain health insurance at the small business where he works even though the cost for his insurance is double what it would have been with the Cobra subsidy. We now pay 3x more for health coverage (vs. the large company) and have very little covered. The new policy has many exclusions, including cochlear implants and therapy for chronic conditions. As our family faces a lifetime of health costs we are learning more about the health care system than we ever imagined.

Although they might not know it, many Americans are one diagnosis/accident away from realizing how important it is for them, personally, to have the health care system changed. Specifically, we need to:

  • Remove the pre-existing condition clause

  • Eliminate lifetime maximums

  • Strengthen the Medicaid programs to provide accessible, high-quality health care services to our children with disabilities

  • Incorporate long term services and supports by including the CLASS Act and the Community Choice Act

Thank you for your continued fight to pass a true health care reform.



2 Comments from readers:

The Calm The Storm said...

Great letter!

abby said...

I'm reading back in your blog now and wanted to commend you on this letter, too. I am not sure what the coverage is in PA under Medicaid (Medical Assistance) for CIs, but I will say that the majority of our copays for Hallie's therapies are covered here. While we pay for hippotherapy out of pocket and have some copays for OT and ST (mostly because we are not doing it at CHOP, where they'd be covered 100%), MA has covered pretty much everything else, from dental surgery to her weekly psychology appts to all of the specialists we see (feeding therapy; ENT; GI; Pulmonology; Developmental Pediatrics; Orthopaedics; Opthalmology etc). It also covers her aide at preschool. PA has a waiver that allows all disabled children to qualify for MA regardless of parental income. We are exceedingly grateful to Gov. Rendell for signing this into law and hope to heck that the next administration can retain this program.