Insurance Reform for HCV
and Other Liver Disease Sufferers
You can write
your representitives in Congress
and request Disability Insurance Reform for HCV
What to do:
the letter below, 2) Type
your zip code into the box below and click the "go"
button. 3) When
you get to the Congress.org site, Paste the contents
of the letter into your representative(s) blank e-mail
page. You may ersonalize it if you want. 4) Sign
it and send. That's all there is to it.
As my representative you ought to know liver
disease is one of the major killers in America today.
Hepatitis C alone has been called a "silent
epidemic" by former surgeon general Everett Koop,
MD. It is estimated that as many as 4 to 5 million Americans
The death rate due to complications from
this disease is expected to quadruple in the next 10 years.
Hepatitis is the number one cause for liver transplants
and those numbers are rising exponentially.
There is no approved cure and current treatment
has an inadequate success rate, even by physician standards
(while often causing debilitating side effects). Even
under treatment patients are often unable to work or hold
down a regular job.
A study presented at the American Association
for the Study of Liver Diseases meeting on Tuesday November
9, 1999 concluded that long-term damage from hepatitis
C infections may cost the U.S. economy more than $81 billion
The study, by researchers from the New England
Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine,
looked at what costs can be expected in the ten years
from 2010 to 2019 as a result of the long-term effects
of hepatitis C infections. Most people infected by the
virus do not notice any symptoms until serious liver damage
starts 20 years or so later, although testing can detect
the infection and lead to early treatment.
The study used a computer model to estimate
the level of disease and death expected in the period
2010-2019 from existing and future infections.
It found that the medical costs of treating
such liver damage as cirrhosis and cancer would total
at least $10.3 billion in those ten years.
Productivity lost to the work force from
hepatitis C complications and death would equal another
$71.5 billion, the researchers, led by Dr John Wong, said.
I believe there should be more consideration
for more rapid approval of disability claims by liver
disease patients. These people are often debilitated to
the degree they can no longer work or hold a job.
"Our results suggest that hepatitis
C will be an awakening health issue that should be addressed
now," Wong said in his paper.
I am requesting that you investigate this
serious area of public health and sponsor or co-sponsor
legislation to speed up the approval process for disability
insurance in regard to this disease.
Thank you for your attention and consideration
in this important matter.