Topic

Health

637 petitions

Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Department of Veteran Affairs, US Congress, US Senate

Expand comprehensive caregiver benefits to severely disabled veterans of all generations

DAV (Disabled American Veterans), The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) together are calling on Congress to expand the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) comprehensive caregiver assistance benefits to disabled veterans of all eras.Veterans like myself. Like many husbands, each day begins and ends with my wife, Yvonne. As a former Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer and quadruple amputee, I am able to get out of bed every morning and rest comfortably at night because of her. Yvonne is my caregiver—one of America’s unsung heroes who takes care of the millions of disabled veterans living in America. She is why I am urging Congress to extend the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) comprehensive caregiver assistance benefits to all disabled veterans of all eras. Under the current VA program, some family caregivers for injured veterans are already recognized and supported for their work. But not Yvonne, or thousands of others like her. Today, only caregivers of veterans who were injured on or after September 11, 2001 are eligible - leaving tens of thousands of families caring for veterans without sufficient support or resources. Yvonne—like so many other loving caregivers—made a lifetime of personal sacrifices to help manage my care yet she’s not eligible for all of these benefits. It is virtually impossible for me to take Yvonne for granted, but I feel like the system does. She has been, for all intents and purposes, my most important prosthetic. Her steadfast and tireless support has given me the independence I’ve needed to thrive in life. My family is one of the many veteran families left out because of an arbitrary date in the law. In 1997, I contracted an infection that stopped the blood flow inside my body and put me in a coma for a month.  That left it to Yvonne to make the difficult decision to let doctors amputate all four of my limbs and remove several internal organs in order to give me a chance at survival. But over the last two decades, with Yvonne’s love and support, we have been able to build a meaningful life together. I was able to learn and succeed in a new career in the IT sector. I even learned to ski and golf, competed in cycling races and rose through the ranks to become the National Commander of the 1.3 million member Disabled American Veterans. The things Yvonne does for me—helping me dress, bathe, eat, get out of bed and put on my prosthetics—are all made easier by the fact that she is right there by my side when I wake up in the morning. When a caregiver is able to stay home and provide that kind of round-the-clock care, it helps create a better quality of life and better health outcomes for disabled veterans. It’s also been shown that supporting family caregivers is less costly to the federal government than treating veterans through institution-based options. For example, I am eligible for nursing home care which could cost nearly $400,000 per year, whereas average cost per veteran through VA’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers is under $40,000 annually. In addition to preventing unwanted and more costly nursing home admissions, caregivers reduce overall health care costs by minimizing medical complications and lowering the number of hospital admissions for veteran patients. And perhaps most importantly, it allows so many injured and ill veterans remain in their homes with family. Caregivers truly are America’s Unsung Heroes. Please encourage your Member of Congress to honor and support these unsung heroes by extending ALL comprehensive caregiver benefits to ALL severely disabled veterans, not just those injured after 9/11.

Commander Dave Riley and PL+US
187,479 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways

Airlines: consider breast pump/milk as a medical device

I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on August 1, 2017. Like many American moms, I returned to work after 6 weeks leave (and my job requires air travel). I did not want to compromise my job or breastfeeding my daughter, so I wanted to do my best to make both work! I quickly realized with American Airlines and Southwest that this would be difficult because a breast pump and milk is not viewed as "medically necessary" by these companies. I want this petition to change their minds and allow breastfeeding moms to bring on their medical device in addition to their carry on and personal item...because being a working, breastfeeding mom away from her baby is difficult as is. It is distasteful to profit from a breastfeeding mother because we are not traveling with our babies. Here are some facts about the legitimate MEDICAL benefits of breast milk: Breast milk boosts the baby's immune system, fighting various infections. Breast milk reduces the risk of disease for the baby later in life. Breast milk can be used to treat many ailments (skin rash/cuts, cradle cap, eye infections..) Breastfeeding can reduce the mother's risk of getting ovarian and breast cancer.  Breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS. If a mother is unable to pump or breastfeed, she risks becoming engorged which can lead to mastitis. Mastitis can cause symptoms such as an ill feeling, fever of 101+, pain/burning sensation in breast. Please sign this petition to encourage airlines to include breast pumps & breast milk in their list of medical devices not counted as a passenger's 2 item limit. And for the airlines that claim to recognize breast pumps as medical devices, please do regular sensitivity trainings so your employees no longer misinform mothers carrying these devices. Thank you for supporting new mom's ambitions to breastfeed and have a career/travel!

Christa Whitten
123 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Scott Gottlieb MD, Jeff Shuren, Sybill Storz, Managing Director, Hal Lawrence, William Maisel MD

Health Alert: Many Women Have Died Unnecessarily Because Dangerous Cancers of the Uterus and Ovaries Are Being Spread using MORCELLATORS. Stop MORCELLATION in Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery.

Friends of the Public, Many women have been harmed and have died prematurely or unnecessarily because of a routine but avoidable gynecological practice known as MORCELLATION. This world-wide practice has devastated many families for well over two decades now. More than 600,000 hysterectomies are done in the US every year. By the age of 70, one out of every three American women will have had a hysterectomy. About 90% of these surgeries are done for what is presumed to be a benign condition called fibroids. More and more of these surgeries are done with minimally invasive techniques.  Usually, to get the uterus out of the body using the "minimally invasive" technique, it is cut into small pieces with a machine called a morcellator.  However, a devastating problem happens if in fact the woman did NOT have fibroids – but if she actually had cancer.  Unfortunately, the tests that are done before a hysterectomy do not identify these cancers well.  Many gynecologists don't even bother getting any tests. In fact, morcellating cancer spreads the cancer inside the woman’s body.   This is called ‘up staging’ the cancer.  It is important to understand: 1) The average life span following accidental morcellation of sarcoma is only 24-36 months. 2) Only 15% of woman who have leiomyosarcoma (LMS) that has spread (stage 4) will be alive after 5 years. 3) Women with sarcoma who are morcellated are about 4 times more likely to die from sarcoma than if they had not been morcellated.  This is an avoidable disaster. This problem has been recognized for more than two decades.  A review of the literature, by the Food and Drug Administration, revealed that 1 in 350 women who go for fibroid surgery actually have sarcoma.  This means that everyday 2-5 women in the US – and more around the world are susceptible to having a deadly cancer spread because of morcellation. This catastrophic problem has happened in my family and we are fighting to stop this dangerous activity called morcellation.  A chance of 1 in 350 for such a devastating outcome is much too high to accept.  Women should be told the truth and the practice should stop. Please help us bring an end to spreading cancer with morcellation.  This is a totally AVOIDABLE practice.  People need to understand their options, which include hysterectomy through a mini-lapartomy incision or trans-vaginally – but – up until recently, most women never heard anything about morcellation or about the possibility of cancer upstaging. And, if they do, this risk is down-played by most minimally invasive gynecologists. We can tell you based on our experience, when cancers are spread by morcellation, the outcomes can be devastating - because the cancer is upstaged. We need your help. Please sign our petition so we can get the word out.  We want the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology to change this "standard of care" by ending the needless waste of life caused by spreading cancer with morcellation. For more information and original references see: http://journals.lww.com/oncology-times/blog/onlinefirst/pages/post.aspx?PostID=188 ) (also see:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23189178) (also see:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21565389). The attached video below shows an example of morcellation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPkKw0j-aXE The following companies manufacture and distribute uterine morcellator devices: 1) ETHICON: Gynecare morcellator 2) Storz: Rotocut Morcellator 3) Richard Wolf Medical Instrumentation Company 4) LiNA: LiNA Xcise Cordless Laparoscopic Morcellator 5) Blue Endo MOREsolution Tissue Morcellator 6) Pneumoliner Power Morcellation System by Olympus Corporation. Intuitive Surgical's Da Vinci Robot deserves special mention, as the frequency of robotic hysterectomies performed by minimally invasive gynecologists is currently on the rise across the United States. Note that Intuitive Surgical builds and markets the DaVinci robot, which is not itself a "morcellator". However, use of the DaVinci robot almost invariably appears to require that the uterus be minced up, or morcellated, into smaller pieces inside the woman's belly cavity in order to extract from the abdomen. A clear example is shown in the following YouTube video of DaVinci being used to perform a robotic hysterectomy and manually morcellating the uterus using the endo-wrist component of the robot (morcellation is being performed at minute 5:30 of the video).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6luiX6UQmg  Without morcellation using equipment manufactured by Intuitive Surgical, robotic hysterectomies would, likely, not be possible using the DaVinci Robot. It is noteworthy that the DaVinci robot does not appear to have a readily available warning label advising against its use to morcellate tumors with malignant potential inside the body. The company's Chief Medical Advisor, Dr. Myriam Curet, a surgeon herself, has been informed and advised of this severe hazard in the use of DaVinci for robotic hysterectomy and the absence of a readily available warning label.

Hooman Noorchashm
93,470 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to mike keidler, washington state health care authority, Jay Inslee, Guy Palumbo, Randi Becker, Andy Billig, Mike Padden, Mark Mullet, Michael Baumgartner, Shelly Short, Sharon Brown, Mark Schoesler, Barbara Bailey, Bob Hasegawa, Brad Hawkins, judy warnick, Curtis King, Jim Honeyford, Maureen Walsh, Lynda Wilson, Ann Rivers, Dean Takko, John Braun, Marko Liias, Sam Hunt, Christine Rolfes, Kevin Van De Wege, Hans Zeiger, Jan Angel, Jeannie Darneille, Steve O'Ban, Steve Conway, Mark Miloscia, Phil Fortunato, Maralyn Chase, Karen Keiser, Sharon Nelson, Tim Sheldon, Reuven Carlyle, Rebecca Saldana, John McCoy, Kirk Pearson, Kevin Ranker, Lisa Wellman, Doug Ericksen, Jamie Pedersen, Steve Hobbs, manka dhingra, David Frockt, Joe Fain, Patty Kuderer, Annette Cleveland, Suzan DelBene

Mandated coverage for Fertility Treatment in Washington - Help us build families

1 in every 8 couples will deal with some type of infertility at some point in their life. I am 1 in 8. I am the young age of 26 years old and I cannot conceive a child through natural means. I require medical intervention due to multiple different conditions. Including PCOS, endometriosis, and a few others. Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that I do not produce viable eggs without medication, and I have a high risk for miscarriage. I cannot explain to you the impact this disease has made on my life, between the heart wrenching depression, anxiety, financial stress and so much more I have difficulty feeling like my life reaches it's potential. A lot of women feel defined by their ability to have children and raise them to be successful, constructive parts of society. This is our impact on the world in so many ways, this is the only way we leave a piece of ourselves here after we have passed away. My husband and I have done everything we are currently able, the only procedure we have yet to attempt is invitro fertilization, primarily due to the out of pocket costs being roughly $12,000-$20,000 for just one cycle of Invitro (IVF) This 1 in 8 equates to roughly 12.5% of American’s. According to Resolve.org, Washington State has 147,772 women of reproductive age in state that experience difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to live birth. This doesn’t even record the statistical evidence on the amount of men in Washington that experience this was well. There are 7.288 million people in Washington State. Assuming 12.5% of those citizens will experience infertility at some point in their lives, we are looking at approximately 911,000 people that will be impacted by infertility . How many states require fertility coverage? 15 Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia. What are the average costs that an infertile couple spend on infertility? According to creatingafamily.org “On average, women with successful outcomes spent $48,424 total on fertility treatment” I have spent roughly 30,000 over the last 6 years. We have only had 2 pregnancies, both of which ended in an early miscarriage. Our next and only step left to take is IVF (aka Invitro Fertilization). For a lot of us, this amount can equate to a year’s wages. So let’s talk premiums and how offering infertility insurance coverage can and will impact those that are fertile on a day to day basis.  According to Resolve.org: Those with infertility are 2.5 times LESS LIKELY to miss time from work due to infertility. I personally can relate to this, if I had to option to jump to IVF (like my doctor recommended) I would have stopped doing other medical treatments that have been less expensive that have ultimately just been a waste of time and money for both me and my employer. I have been doing IUI’s (inter uterine insemination), with hormone injections of Follicle Stimulating Hormones, HCG, and clomid with very close monitoring. This causes about 6 doctor visits per month. Which means roughly 12 hours of work missed per month. As apposed to going straight to IVF which has about the same amount of doctors’ visits, but I would likely not need to repeat the cycle 6-12 times to get pregnant. 86% of couples who go through IVF get pregnant within 3 cycles. Often people believe that adding an infertility coverage benefit will increase health care costs. However, studies indicate that including comprehensive infertility coverage in a health benefit package may actually reduce costs and improve outcomes. For example, a survey of employers, conducted by the consulting firm William M. Mercer found that 91 percent of respondents offering infertility treatment have not experienced an increase in their medical costs as a result of providing this coverage. Often patients select treatment based on what is covered in their health benefit plan rather than what is most appropriate treatment. For example, a woman having trouble conceiving because of blocked fallopian tubes or tubal scarring may opt for tubal surgery, a covered treatment, which can cost $8,000 -$13,000 per surgery. Many patients are forced to forgo in vitro fertilization (IVF) because it is not a covered service even though it costs about the same as tubal surgery and statistically is more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. According to William M Mercer, “The decline in use of high-cost procedures like tubal surgery would likely offset the cost to include IVF as a benefit and provide improved health outcomes.” (William M. Mercer, Infertility as a Covered Benefit, 1997). In states with mandated infertility insurance, the rate of multiple births is lower than in states without coverage. (New England Journal of Medicine, “Insurance Coverage and Outcomes of In Vitro Fertilization,” August 2002). Couples with insurance coverage are free to make more appropriate decisions with their physicians based on medical necessity rather than financial considerations which often result in multiple births and a high rate of complications during and post-pregnancy. Comprehensive infertility coverage may actually reduce premium expense by as much as $1 per member/per month. According to The Hidden Costs of Infertility Treatment in Employee Health Benefits Plans (Blackwell, Richard E. and the William Mercer Actuarial Team, 2000), insurance premiums now indirectly provide coverage for “hidden” infertility benefits such as surgeries to remove scarring in the fallopian tubes for women or varicose vein removal for men, were calculated to be adequate to cover more effective and often less expensive treatments such as ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization. So I come to you today, asking you to support our right to start a family. I ask you to take away the years of pain and suffering my husband and I have experienced, and to help ensure that no other person will have to say no to the proper treatment for their infertility due to the high costs of procedures.  

Jennifer Coggins
109 supporters