Medical Insurance Issues for Hep C Sufferers
You can write
your representitives in Congress
and request that they address Insurance Issues for Hep
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, and it is estimated that as many as 4 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).
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.
"Our results suggest that hepatitis C will be an
awakening health issue that should be addressed now,"
Wong said in his paper.
Because the current medically approved treatment
for this disease is so expensive some health insurance
companies may balk or drag their feet when it comes to
approving or paying for treatment. Futher, there are extremely
effective alternative treatments that receive no coverage
by insurance providers.
I am requesting that you investigate this
important area of public health and sponsor or co-sponsor
legislation to look into the details in regard to this
Thank you for your attention and consideration
in regard to this serious matter.