Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Join the conversation...

I am fortunate in that I have a more public form in which to fight for our cause. The plan is to keep working on this blog and to write weekly articles on the many aspects of healthcare that need to be addressed.

Here is the first article that went live last week. It is an edited version of one of the posts written on this blog. I would also like to invite anyone who wishes to participate by telling their stories of healthcare struggles to contact me. My story is complex and will be put to use for all of us but other stories would be beneficial for us all.

Here is the link and you can see that we have started a local public discussion on the topic.


Thanks and I wish you all good health!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

No One is Asking for a Handout, Just a Hand

It's time to revisit the cause in light of the inevitable attack on the Health Insurance Rights (yes, that how I will refer to it because that is what this really is, no one gave us socialist healthcare benefits as the looneys would like you to believe) we all had fought so long for. This issue is so important and complex its difficult to know where to start. So in the interest of time and in effort to help put a face on it, I am going to tell you a story, not a fairytale.

There is a couple in Orange County, who on the outset of their marriage had well paying jobs with medical benefits. They bought a house, (one that they could afford with a 30 year fixed rate) they were about to have a baby, and life was pretty good.

Shorty before their new baby's first birthday the man got sick. As it turned out, at the age of 29 he was put on a dialysis and on the waiting list for a new kidney. After 9 months of dialysis, numerous appointments with various doctors and testing of potential donors, he received a kidney transplant. There were many medical bumps on the road to recovery but he returned to work with his health much improved.

Unfortunately, immunosuppression is required to keep the body from rejecting the new kidney, in turn one is left susceptible to infection. Colds turn into a visit to the emergency room and every sinus infection has deadly potential. Amazingly, this man was able to continue working since he had a home office and he had great insurance. It was not easy but it wasn't impossible.

Despite his illness, he enjoyed 11 years as a top salesman for Gillette. Unfortunately, his new boss informed him that his career was over. Devastating news to be sure, for there had been much personal sacrifice on his part to achieve the success for which he had worked so hard.

It was time to move on. He secured a job with Schick and within the first nine 9 months he was the only sales person making his numbers. Everything was great, he received a good review with an increase in salary. Pfizer decided to buy Schick and they gave large cash payments to all the employees that they wanted to keep, not everyone got them, but he was happy to one of the chosen few to get one of these checks.

As soon as Schick found out he was sick, his performance appraisals began to tell a new story. He had to go on medical leave for a second kidney transplant and upon his return, the harassment towards him began and his family worried that the stress of it would have devastating effects on his health.

Also, the 25 year old who unselfishly donated one of her kidneys to the man was unable to acquire any health insurance for herself due to the fact that she just saved someone's life.

Schick changed insurance companies and all of his prescriptions had to be paid out of pocket and then wait for reimbursement. The out of pocket cost for a transplant patient is well over $2000 per month.

He was fired after 4 short years with Schick. COBRA benefits for the family cost them well over $1000 per month, so they dropped the wife and the children from the policy and they had to go without any coverage.

With his wife also out of work and now with 2 children, they had to live off of their retirement savings. As you may or may not know, the IRS frowns upon that. It took two years for the man to find another job, and the wife had found work as well. And then, the IRS came calling and payment required to keep them happy made it impossible for the family to cover their tax bill and their astronomical medical expenses. The children were pulled out of private school and they struggled to make ends meet. Their entire savings and retirement funds were wiped out.

Soon his wife was laid off and they were unsuccessful in securing a loan modification for their home due the loan being sold by Indy Mac to a group of investors who had no intention of working with the couple to keep their home.

In the wake of the nation's economic disaster, the man was laid off. There was some relief from COBRA benefits as the Obama Administration made changes that drastically reduced their monthly payments for a short time.

The investors decided to auction the home so the couple had no choice but to sell it for well below market value.

The couple was thrilled when the New Health Insurance regulations passed because their whole life is a pre-existing condition and their entire lives are at the mercy of their medical insurance company.

Currently the money from the sale of their home is running out and the man has been out of work for over a year. His wife's unemployment benefits have been exhausted. His COBRA payment is about to double to over $1000 for the family and the man's unemployment benefits are approx $1600. Last week the man was informed that the house they are renting is going up for auction.

Oh, and they are still making payments to the IRS.

So, the next time someone lies to you and tells you that the free market is the answer and it will offer choices for everyone, think about the family in the story...because this is my story.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Congressman Miller,

In reference to your “Truth about….illegals will benefit”. Can we stop focusing on how some people might slip through some “loopholes” and benefit from a government option? First off all it’s not true that children who are born from illegal parents have their benefits include their parents. That is absolutely not true. This country will and has deported illegal parents with US born children and left the children in the hands of the state so they become a burden to the taxpayer, because that makes sense in someone’s mind.

Can you stop your scare tactics to the public and start working on getting health care for the citizens of the United States. There are citizens in this country that are in dire need but all you seem to want to focus on is illegals and how the market is enough to provide choices to all. As I stated to you before, if you have no money, you have no choice. Without a government option what is your answer to people who don’t make enough money to buy any healthcare insurance. I am trying to keep it simple for you. What is your answer for people who flat out cannot afford healthcare, and please don’t talk about tax breaks because that is not a realistic option for many of us. Please answer this plainly and simply. Stop detracting from the issue that this country fails to take care of its own citizens on a grand scale, but you want to focus on scaring people to keep the status quo.

It’s time for you to talk about real solutions. Please tell me what they are.

(You can view this along with your newsletter on my blog)


From: CapitolConnection Newsletter [mailto:CapitolConnectionNewsletter@MAIL.HOUSE.GOV]
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 12:06 PM
Subject: Rep. Gary Miller's Weekly Newsletter

September 11, 2009

Congress is Back in Session, Faces Full Fall Agenda
This week, Members of the House of Representatives have returned to Washington after having been at home with the people they represent over the month of August. During the recess, Congressman Miller maintained a busy schedule by meeting with constituents in his Brea Office, hosting a health care listening session to discuss concerns and implications of a government-run health care system, and participating in several other health care town halls. As the House gears up for what is expected to be a jam-packed fall agenda, Congressman Miller will work with his colleagues to bring fiscal discipline back to Washington in order to place our nation back on the road to economic prosperity.

The Truth About the House Government-Run Health Care Bill: Illegals Will Benefit
Although both the Administration and Congressional Democrats claim that the 1,018-page House government-run health care bill will not provide benefits to illegal immigrants, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service has found that a series of loopholes in the legislation will indeed provide health care coverage to illegals. While the legislation expressly prohibits illegal aliens from receiving government-run health care, the bill does not include a specific requirement that a person prove his or her citizenship in order to obtain affordability credits, which means that illegal aliens could obtain coverage. Further, another provision states that if one member of a family is afforded coverage all members would have coverage. This means that if a child of illegal aliens is born in the United States, then the entire family becomes eligible for coverage. What is even more disconcerting is that several Republican amendments to prohibit illegal aliens from receiving coverage by closing various loopholes in the bill have been defeated in House Committees of jurisdiction. Currently, it is estimated that American taxpayers already spend over $4.3 billion each year to provide health care to illegal immigrants, primarily through emergency room visits and free clinics, and under the House bill it is estimated that providing expanded coverage to illegals could cost the government up to $30.5 billion annually. During these times of economic hardship, Congressman Miller adamantly opposes providing additional taxpayer-subsidized health care to those that have recklessly disregarded our nation’s immigration laws.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The RNC sent an email to my husband requesting his support for the "cause". He doesn't get involved too much in the political debates, because it angers him. He chooses to reserve his energy to stay focused on the well being of his family. He is unemployed and facing more health related issues in the immediate future. It is in his best interest to stay positive and focused on what we face day to day as a family.

I thought I should respond to the RNC as his spokesperson because I know how he feels about the state of this country and I feel that his voice should be heard. This was the response that I sent to the Republican national Committee;

I would like to share a letter that I wrote to my Republican congressman for my Republican husband who has chronic health care issues. Many of your constituents have health issues that you are not addressing. It would appear that your main goals are to scare the public at large to keep the status quo.

Michael Steele is an embarrassment to your party. Your party is lost and until you realize that you work for the people and not for yourselves you will never be relevant. Stop your attempts to divide this great country and use your station to help the citizens, not your own self interests. You have already lost my husband who has been a life long Republican, because frankly, you sicken him!

Ok , so I let my emotions take over on this one.....I am human after all!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Let's Have a Conversation!

There have been many heated arguments about health care reform, some of which I have been involved in. I have to be honest, I don't always understand the sometimes, violent opposition.

I encountered this same opposition with a friend of mine and our "discussion" went on for hours over email. Let's be clear, I was angry, not because he did not agree with me but because he resorted to name calling and insults to make his "point". Tempted as I was too return the favor, I knew that would just demean the value of what I know and believe to be true, and that is something I refused to betray.

There is no point in going over the details of this particular conversation, suffice it to say that he was sure it would be the downfall of this great country.

A week or two later, my family and I went to spend the day at his house with his family at the invitation of his wife. It was quite a pleasurable day with lively conversation about the kids and the anticipation of the upcoming start of the new school year. The kids swam and splashed in their pool to their heart's content. The adults enjoyed a beautiful array of snacks displayed by our lovely hostess. Our esteemed host laughed and joked as he mixed batch after batch of amazing Mojito cocktails for us.

Our hostess began telling us about her nightmare experience in trying to get affordable health insurance for her family. She ran into issue after issue trying to solve this problem. The host also joined the conversation about how ridiculous it was to try and buy health insurance because of perceived "pre-existing conditions". I have to admit, I was slightly amused at his aggravation, not because I wished these troubles upon them, but because I found it amusingly ironic after our previous email "conversation".

I retold our host the story about how my niece was denied insurance coverage after she donated her kidney to my husband 5 years ago. He was very vocal about how ridiculous it was to deny coverage to someone who had given so much of herself. He turned and looked at me and pointed
his finger at me and said, "that is something that needs to change!" Smiling, my only reply was, "of course, I agree!"

If you get right down to it, we all want the same things; opportunities, fair treatment, freedom and help when we have hit hard times. We all want the ability to care for our families, and friends when they are sick and in need. But this shouldn't come at the cost of the stability and security of our families.

Our out of pocket health care expenses are extremely high and our access is limited at best. If you are fortunate enough to have the ability to absorb these costs then I am not speaking to you, unless of course you care about someone other than yourself.

This country has the resources, the technology and the need to care for all of its citizens. We can prove this to ourselves and the world by making it happen with the exchange of new ideas and a united purpose. There is no logical reason that the downfall of any American family should be caused by the expenses or lack of quality medical care.

Just change the conversation from left against right to person to person.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I am posting a link to a very interesting article thought I thought many of you would find useful:


Love to you all!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Here is a little inspiration for all of us! I really thought this was important to share and relevant to matters that we face!


Love to all!