Sunday, November 02, 2008

Another open letter to the undecided voter – We need to fix health-care

This was an email that a friend of mine from work sent me. It underscores how badly our health-care system needs to be over-hauled. Unfortunately, health-care reform seems to be a low priority on John McCain’s agenda for the next 4 years. Bringing down the cost of health-care and universal coverage are definitely hard fruits to reap (the country has been deeply divided by partisan politics and the state of the economy is really hurting all of us). But fixing the small issues such as not allowing insurance companies get away from their obligations by hiding behind their “pre-existing clauses” hedges is definitely something that can be fixed and should be fixed. Many people might not realize it – but the pre-existing clause definitely hurts our economy – as many people just dont want to try and take on the risk of trying to get health-care on their own and hence stay away from starting small business – the bed-rock of our economy. It is unfortunate that this topic is important only to Barack Obama. On the other hand, John McCain’s advisors think that just giving $2500 to each person as tax credit to purchase their own health insurance will make our lives and worries better. News flash - $2500 wont pay for most American’s health insurance and it certainly wont give health insurance to the un-insured. Finally John McCain’s policies do noting to fix the problem of insurance companies flashing the “pre-existing illness” card. Obama is our best bet at fixing the problems that every-day Americans face with the current health care situation.


Here is the email from my friend:

Issue: Health Insurance and pre-existing conditions

On January 20, 2000 I was diagnosed with colon cancer stage 4 type 2.  The cancer had spread into 12 out of 18 lymph nodes. I had a 60% chance of recurrence without going through treatment.  After going through nine months of chemo and radiation my odds improve to 40%. I am happy to say that everything has gone well since my treatment.
I was laid off from employer in February of this year. I applied for private health insurance with Anthem-Blue Cross  (a large insurance carrier) and was declined coverage due to their policy that I had to be free of cancer for at least 10 years before they would consider providing health insurance coverage.

I have yet to find a permanent position and my cobra coverage will end in August 2009. If I am not able to get into a group insurance plan before then, I will be uninsured for at least six months. I was even thinking about starting my own business but the risk is too great without health insurance.

My middle daughter who is twenty years old has the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) virus.  She just found out today that she will lose her job with her employer in the next two months.  Since she has had several abnormal results from her exams she also is not able to get private insurance.  One study found that, during 2003–2004, at any given time, 26.8% of women aged 14 to 59 were infected with at least one type of HPV.

The reason that I am telling you this: I believe that we have a serious problem with health insurance in this country. Many people with pre-existing conditions are not able to get affordable insurance unless they can get it through a group plan provided by the company they work for.  Barack Obama realizes that this is something that we need to fix in this county.  He has stated my many times that his plan includes making sure that individuals with pre-existing conditions will be able to get good affordable health insurance. So as you make up you mind I hope you will take this into consideration.

Thanks for taking the time to read my email! 

Steve S.

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