Friday, September 18, 2009

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President and Members of Congress,

My name is Jennifer. My husband and I have a 3 year old daughter and another on the way. I’m writing concerning your push for a healthcare plan that would affect me quite personally.

My husband is self-employed. We must find our own health insurance and are responsible for paying its fees in their entirety. We are commission based in the real estate market- a job market which has been impacted substantially in the past months and years due to economic conditions. We have earned $30-50,000 pretax in recent years. Our first daughter was born via an urgent and unplanned c-section. A c-section is considered a ‘pre-existing’ condition under almost any health insurance provider. All but one carrier refused to cover any sort of maternity care in an insurance plan. One carrier offered a ‘maternity coverage’ plan that would have cost us around $250 a month extra, simply for the maternity care. We were then ‘forced’ to accept coverage from the non-profit group Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Blue Cross allows anyone into their health insurance and does not recognize any ‘pre-existing’ conditions. Due to our desire to 1) have more children and 2) not risk not being covered in the case of an unplanned pregnancy we went with this health insurance plan. We have been very happy with our coverage. It is not the ‘Cadillac’ of coverage, but it covers major medical and lab procedures and even some preventative and well child care. We love being able to choose our own doctors and hospitals. We pay for it- we should choose where we want to go. Our monthly premiums went up over 28% this past month due to state of Michigan forcing Blue Cross to make more money.

So you see Mr. President and Congressmen, we are the people you are designing this healthcare plan for:
· We are too rich to receive Medicaid
· We are too young to receive Medicare
· We have a preexisting condition that disqualifies us from most, if not all insurance providers
· We provide and pay for our own healthcare being self-employed
· Our rates have significantly increased (28%) taking us from a monthly premium from $370 a month to $477 a month.

We are the family that has been described by President Obama and other supporters of this plan as their ‘target’ market:


We do not want the government to step in a take over our health insurance. We want to choose our doctors. We want to get an MRI if our doctor recommends one (and not have to wait 3-6 months for it!). We are happy with our coverage. Would we like to pay less? Sure. But we have made health insurance a priority. We want to protect our children and ourselves in case of a medical crisis. We do not want to be floundering in mountains of debt because we have not prepared in advance. Could we use the extra $477 a month in our budget? You bet! But, we have placed our health and our children’s health above new TV’s, a new home, the latest car, and trendy gadgets. We are being stewards of the bodies and life God has given us by protecting them.

Please do not take away our right to choose. The government already provides assistance and major medical care for those who are too poor, too old, and too young (MIChild).
I am proud to be an American. I am proud to be free. I wish that our current legislative and executive branches would remember the ideals to which our country was founded: A country in which my voice matters. A country based on capitalism and competitive markets to build our economy- not take over’s which drag it down. A country where the government supports my right to live, parent, and be who I desire to be- not a country who tells me how to live, parent, and what to do.

Healthcare needs reform. I don’t understand how a c-section can be considered a pre-existing condition when over 30% of births are performed this way. I am frustrated when doctors and patients are forced to make care decisions based on financial reasons as opposed to quality of health care. But, forcing insurance companies to accept all will only drive up prices and force more companies to close. Controlling hospitals and care facilities will only denigrate care and prevent lives from being saved (have you ever been a patient in Europe or Canada?). Why not help companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield continue to do the great work they are already doing? Support them- don’t overtake them. And let them help you instead of trying to rework the whole system.

Please, focus your attention on creating jobs, cutting spending waste, and finding creative and capitalist ways to reform healthcare- not socialize it. I plead with you behalf of all of us who do not take advantage of government assistance, who are being affected by health rates skyrocketing and being rejected for conditions that are not really conditions at all. I am an American. I have the right of choice and the freedom to decide what is best for my family- don’t I?

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