Petition to U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump
Remove health-care subsidies for Members of Congress and their families
Several years ago, my dad got the news that he had cancer. Sadly, he passed away. My dad had a job at the time, but his employer did not cover him, and without coverage, he avoided going to the doctor until it was too late. As Congress and President Trump try to pass a new healthcare law, I'm reminded of my father and whether he would have made it if he had early access to cost-effective health care. Affordable health care is in decline as premiums and health costs increase at exponential rates. Some politicians cannot relate to the cost burden experienced by families across the nation because they’ve historically received health benefits that most Americans have not. Like millions of people who are panicking about possible changes to their health insurance, I’m concerned the people elected to represent us won’t have to live with the consequences or expenses that the rest of us may have to face soon. I want lawmakers to commit to treating themselves just like those who will be impacted by ACA repeal or replacement. A lot of Members of Congress promote choice as an American value, which is all the more reason for them to have to continue to choose their own health coverage from the free marketplace. If private health care is good for the American citizen, it should also be good for the people that defend it. If Congress is willing to drastically cut healthcare subsidies for most people, are they willing to have the same rules apply to them and their families?
Petition to Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio
Dear Senate, Please protect my child with a chronic disease
To the members of the Senate, I am a physician, and I am also the mother of a 1 year old boy with a rare, chronic medical condition called plasminogen deficiency. My son, Graham, was diagnosed with this enzyme deficiency when he was 6 months old. His body does not produce plasminogen, just as a Type I diabetic's body does not produce insulin. Without plasminogen, small injuries to my son's mucous membranes (his eyes, ears, lungs, digestive tract and kidneys) cause the formation of thick scar tissue that results in damage to his organs and can lead to severe disability and death. Luckily for Graham, two drug companies are manufacturing plasminogen as a replacement therapy for patients like him, and with this treatment, Graham can be a normal, healthy boy. Without it, he is doomed to a life of surgical procedures, pain, and eventual death. The drug he needs is completing its clinical trial, but I have no doubt that upon its approval it will be very expensive. Graham will need health insurance to be able to afford this life saving medication for the rest of his life. I am horrified by the fact that the Senate's proposed health care bill would allow for waiving essential health benefits and thus the reinstatement of annual or lifetime benefit limits for insured people. As a physician, I take care of people every day who would quickly reach their limits due to the need for expensive medications and procedures. With the help of their health insurance plans, they can often get the treatment they need and continue being productive members of society. As a mother, I am heart broken to think of my son having to live with a devastating, debilitating disease because his insurance plan will no longer cover the medication that would make him well. I am asking you, as a physician, and begging you, as a mother, to vote against the waiver of essential health benefits and against the reinstatement of annual or lifetime coverage limits for insured Americans. Please consider the well-being of your many constituents, including my infant son Graham, when casting your vote on this bill. Respectfully,Rebecca Bialas, MD Belleair, FL
Petition to Food and Drug Administration, Elizabeth Warren, Jared Polis, Barbara Lee, David Cicilline, Mark Takano, Mike Quigley, United States Department of Health and Human Services
Repeal the FDA ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men
Dear FDA, Your policy that requires gay and bisexual men to be abstinent for one year before donating blood is both discriminatory and wasteful. It separates people based on identity instead of risk factors. It removes millions of donors from the eligible donor pool. And perhaps worst of all, it reminds millions of gay and bisexual American men that their government views them as separate and not equal. Representative Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) said, "We need blood donation policies that are based on individual risk factors, that don’t unfairly single out one group of individuals, and that allow all healthy Americans to donate”. We concur. It’s 2017. Marriage Equality is here. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone. It's time to repeal the FDA ban on blood donation from gay and bisexual men. #BloodIsBlood
Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate
Act to put patients before politics!
In March, Republican Congressional leaders introduced their blueprint for health system reform known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA). After a failed attempt at passage, Congress returned from recess with changes that take an already flawed bill and make it even worse. As currently drafted, this legislation would result in millions of Americans losing health care coverage and benefits. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office last month estimated 14 million could lose coverage in 2018 in addition to a projected $880 billion cut to Medicare over the next decade. Not only will millions lose coverage under the proposed AHCA, but replacing income-based premium subsidies with age-based tax credits makes coverage more expensive for poor and sick Americans. This change puts meaningful health care coverage out of reach for many Americans. And now, GOP leaders want to allow states the ability to opt-out of the pre-existing conditions protections, which could lead to millions more at risk of losing coverage or being priced out by skyrocketing premiums. This is simply unacceptable and cannot happen. Make your voice heard – contact your lawmakers today and urge them to keep millions of Americans insured by saying no to AHCA!
Petition to Lamar Alexander, Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, Rob Portman, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz
Fair Health Insurance For All!
All Americans deserve equal and fair access to affordable health insurance. Today, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has enabled more Americans access to insurance than ever before. In fact, the number of uninsured Americans has dropped more than 6 percent since 2013. Yet, the House wants to completely replace the ACA with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Senate is considering this. What could that mean for you? If you: Have A Pre-Existing Condition: You may not qualify for insurance or would have to pay a much higher premium. Earn A Lower Income: You may lose Medicaid coverage. Have A Lapse In Coverage: You may be penalized for the gap in coverage (longer than 2 months). Have Insurance Through Your Employer: Penalties for employer provided coverage may be dropped. They will no longer have to provide insurance. Your out of pocket costs will increase. Are A Senior: You may pay a higher price for insurance. Receive Medicaid or other Subsidies: Funding may be reduced significantly forcing you to pay for those services instead. Completely replacing the ACA is not necessary. We need to keep the good parts and address what needs fixing. When your car has a check engine light on, do you take it the junkyard or do you take it to a repair shop? It's the same thing here: Take the ACA to the repair shop and not the junkyard. Any solution should simplify and seek to reduce costs while maintaining and increasing benefits. Addressing Health Care Costs: Health insurance costs are still a challenge for many Americans and help is still needed there. Healthcare expenditures were projected to reach $3.2 trillion in 2015 - or about $10,000 per person (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2015). So instead of looking to cut benefits, we must find other ways to cut expenses such as introducing "legitimate pricing" (full cost disclosure), which would result in an annual savings of 33% or $1 trillion. And that would be a win for everyone. There are many more in "A Health Insurance Roadmap" including terminating employer health insurance ($250 billion savings) and reducing fraud (ranging from $68 billion to $320 billion). Please sign my petition to ask the Senate for Fair Health Insurance For All! A Health Insurance Roadmap must be followed to provide a baseline of easy to understand and cohesive health insurance for all Americans. Then the next step is simplifying and standardizing all of the different types of health insurance out there. Details can all be found in A Health Insurance Roadmap. The Senate needs to address these issues: Expansion of Medicare to Everyone: At some point all Americans go on Medicare either through age or disability. Currently 15% of Americans are on Medicare. The concept is simple: Medicare Part A is free and in place for most Americans (this includes hospital and facility care). Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act of 1995, all hospitals are required to treat individuals in need of emergency care. Medicare Part B, Preventative Services could be adjusted to match the ACA's Essential Benefits. Part D covers prescription drugs. Part C, Medicare Advantage allows private insurers to offer Medicare Parts A, B & D and is currently at 37% of new enrollees in Medicare and growing. Insurance companies also offer Medicare Supplement Plans. Medicare is not going to go bankrupt. This is a common fallacy. The 2016 report of Medicare’s trustees finds that Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund will remain solvent — that is, able to pay 100 percent of the costs of the hospital insurance coverage that Medicare provides — through 2028. Even in 2028, when the HI trust fund is projected for exhaustion, incoming payroll taxes and other revenue will still be sufficient to pay 87 percent of Medicare hospital insurance costs. The share of costs covered by dedicated revenues will decline slowly to 79 percent in 2040 and then rise gradually to 86 percent in 2090. The Medicare hospital insurance program will not run out of all financial resources and cease to operate after 2028, as the “bankruptcy” term may suggest. Medicare Part B & Part D cannot go bankrupt due the way they are funded through premiums and the Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust. Medicaid Expansion Must Be Continued: Medicaid is the largest insurer with more than 70 million beneficiaries. And more states are considering expansion (currently 31 states have already expanded Medicaid). A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2016, that looked at survey data for three states and found Medicaid expansion “was associated with significantly increased access to primary care,” as well as “fewer skipped medications due to cost,” among other factors. Pre-Existing Conditions: It is important that no one is left behind because of bad luck. It is estimated that over 27% of Americans have pre-existing conditions and that 60% have a chronic medical condition. Why should those with chronic illnesses that occur through no fault of their own be penalized? My son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last year at the age of 11. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune virus, which happens randomly and for which there is no known clear cause. Type 1 Diabetes results in the Pancreas ceasing to work and create insulin. It is organ failure. Type 1 Diabetes is a 24/7 chronic illness that requires constant maintenance and expensive supplies. Even with the ACA, life is hard for many people with type 1 Diabetes as insurance companies make it difficult to get devices and supplies that allow them live. Under the AHCA, anyone with Type 1 Diabetes or other chronic illness or cancer history or heart issues would most likely not ever be able to get health insurance except possibly through an employer. Please sign your name if you agree that, now more than ever, we must move the senate to introduce a "Fair Health Insurance For All". The Bottom Line: What we are talking about here is beyond a luxury; it is necessity and a quality of life issue. This is neither a game nor a question of political party, this a matter of life and death for real people who are in our lives. As a community, our collective voices can make a difference. Sign the petition to Senator Lamar Alexander (and other key senators) then share it. Thank you for taking the time to sign this petition to make sure that all Americans including you have Fair Health Care Insurance. We all deserve affordable health care. Check out A Health Insurance Roadmap for the full plan.
Petition to U.S. Senate
Mental Health Professionals and Concerned Constituents Oppose AHCA
Please sign, share, and also call your U.S. Senator - 202 224-3121 - and urge them to oppose the health care bill passed by the House. May, 2017 Dear U.S. Senator, We are mental health care therapists and addiction counselors who are deeply concerned about the decrease in access to mental health services under the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in early May. We urge you to reject this bill, which would greatly diminish mental and behavioral health care at a time when treatment is urgently needed for those impacted by the opioid crisis, alcohol addiction, depression and other conditions. One out of five Americans experiences a mental health condition, but only half get needed treatment. Nearly one third of the people covered by Medicaid expansion live with a mental health condition. The AHCA will push our clients into costly emergency rooms and jails instead of providing the coverage for mental health services which helps people stay in school, on the job and in recovery. We are concerned about the following provisions in the bill: The AHCA allows states to opt out of requiring insurance companies to cover mental and behavioral health care, as well as to opt out of covering people with pre-existing conditions. The AHCA would no longer require Medicaid expansion to cover mental health care, abandoning Congress’s previous commitment to mental health and addiction treatment. The bill would reduce federal assistance to working families who buy health insurance, leaving millions of people, many of whom have mental illness, unable to afford mental health care. Families would be denied the counseling they need to heal relationships and stay together. People covered by Medicaid expansion before 2020 would be dropped from their plan if they are more than one month late paying their premium. This is a high price to pay for someone suffering from mental illness, who may be unable to pay a bill while in the hospital or experiencing severe symptoms. Investing in quality mental health care saves taxpayer dollars in the long term. We see the positive impact of our work on the people we serve every day, allowing people to be productive members of society. We ask you to vote against the AHCA and any other attempts to cut back mental and behavioral health coverage for our fellow citizens.
Petition to Kemp Hannon, Richard Gottfried, John Flanagan
Enact the "Dream law" Bill S1165/ A5514 for all Transplant Patients 2017
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the public health law, in relation to deeming central venous lines as medically necessary Dream Shepherd is an 12-year-old girl who has courageously battled Sickle Cell Disease and who suffered a stroke in 2010 at the age of five. In December 2014, as part of a study, Dream received a stem cell transplant as part of her treatment plan and fight against Sickle Cell Disease. After the transplant she remained in the hospital for several months, while Doctors worked to stabilize her immune system, which was crucial to her discharge and transplant success. Additionally while in the hospital Dream had a Central Venous Line placed into her heart. The Central Venous Line has strict care requirements. In New York State Health Facilities only Registered Nurses are legally allowed to administer I.V. medications with use of a Central Venous Line; which have to be properly managed to ensure that Dream, and other's with a Central Line, do not acquire infections, especially if immuno-compromised. This central line goes directly into the right atrium of the heart, and requires immediate action should there be a disconnection for any reason as a patient with this type of line can exsanguinate should this go unmonitored or unnoticed. In addition to the high risk of infections, other complications of Central Venous Lines include Air Embolism, Pneumothorax, Pinch-off, Syndrome, Drug Precipitates, Thrombosis, Catheter Occlusion, Catheter Malposition, and Sepsis a severe blood infection caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Sepsis is extremely serious and can be life-threatening. Due to the high potential for dangerous infections, as part of discharge planning, Dream's mother, who is not a medical professional, made a request for a skilled private duty nurse to care for Dream's central venous line. This request was denied by the insurance company as it was "not deemed medically necessary." Due to this rejection by the insurance company, the hospital informed Dream's mother, that she was required to provide the necessary care to Dream's central venous line. Not ensuring that Dream would have the correct and proper skilled nurse to provide the care after discharge which could have caused irreparable harm, including the worst outcome. Attempting to force the mother to provide the care would have required her to lose her job and source of income, along with saddling her with the anxiety of overseeing the medical attention that if not done properly, could lead to the loss of her daughter's life. That is a position no family member or friend should ever be in.
Petition to Richard Burr, President of the United States, Donald Trump, Thom Tillis
Approve my Social Security Disability
I WANT TO PERSONALLY THANK EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT DURING THIS DIFFICULT JOURNEY IN MY LIFE. YOUR SUPPORT, PRAYERS, ADVICE, AND FRIENDSHIPS HAVE PUSHED ME THROUGH THIS PAST Year. (I changed my main photo because some said it was too brutal to look at) MY STORY: Raleigh News and Observer article Three years ago, I was in a car wreck that left me with a traumatic brain injury. I now suffer from seizures: I simply black out, with no warning, several times a week. Because of this, I can never drive again; I can’t work. I can’t even shower alone, and I’m running out of hope. Before my injury, I was an electrician by trade. I always worked and supported my three children. I tried going back to work after the wreck, but my seizures forced me to stop. My multiple attempts to get on disability have been denied even though my medical history is well documented by hospitals, neurologists, doctors, and psychiatrists. I have given the Social Security office all the medical and financial records they have asked for. I have had a couple doctor's notes since 2014 that said I could not work because of my condition. The health coverage I have from the county is not enough. It doesn’t pay for rehab or the weeks I’ve spent in the hospital due to further brain injury caused by falls during seizures. I have lost everything I worked for all of my life. I feel so helpless. We’re looking at homelessness as a very real possibility, and all because the Social Security contract I entered into when I started paying in at 16 years old, has failed me. Please, I am not looking for handouts. Simply for the money I have paid into the system in my time of great need. Please call on the Social Security Administration (SSA) to grant me disability insurance, so that I may have a fighting chance to get better. I know I am not alone in this. I’ve talked to so many people going through similar hardships. My condition is getting progressively worse. I want so badly to live to raise my children to adulthood, to be a good role model for them, and teach them that it is possible to overcome any obstacle in this country. I can only do that with some help. Please help me call on the SSA to grant me disability insurance. I have earned it, and I would not take it if I didn’t really need it. Thank you for your time, God Bless, Christopher E Layne My life as I know it (click here) Every signature under here is probably going through the same hell or loves someone going through the same thing, fighting for their lives. Something has to change fast. One wrong fall and I will not be here any longer to see my chosen grow. Please help me by signing this petition. It truly could mean life or death. A message from my daughter