Topic

Health

862 petitions

Update posted 4 hours ago

Petition to Claire McCaskill, Jill Schupp, Gary Romine, U.S. Senate, Roy Blunt, Dan Brown, Mike Cierpiot, Sandy Crawford, Mike Cunningham, S. Kiki Curls, Bill Eigel, Jason Holsman, Denny Hoskins, Jacob W Hummel, Andrew Koenig, Doug Libla, Brian Munzlinger, Jamilah Nasheed, Bob Onder, Ron Richard, Jeanie Riddle, John Joseph Rizzo, Caleb Rowden, David Cameron MP, Rob Schaaf, Dave Schatz, Scott Sifton, Wayne Wallingford, Jay Wasson, Paul Wieland, Richard C. Shelby, Doug Jones, Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, John McCain, Jeff Flake, John Boozman, Tom Cotton, DIane Feinstein, Kamala D. Harris, Michael F. Bennet, Cory Gardner, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy, Thomas R. Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Bill Nelson, Marco Rubio, Johnny Isakson, David Perdue, Brian Schatz, Mazie K. Hirono, Mike Crapo, James E. Risch, Richard J. Durbin, Tammy Duckworth, Joe Donnelly, Todd Young, Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Pat Roberts, Jerry Moran, Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Bill Cassidy, John F. Kennedy, Susan M. Collins, Angus S. King Jr., Benjamin L. Cardin, Chris Van Hollen, Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Debbie Stabenow, Gary C. Peters, Amy Klobuchar, Tina Smith, Roger F. Wicker, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Jon Tester, Steve Daines, Deb Fischer, Benjamin Sasse, Dean Heller, Catherine Cortez Masto, Jeanne Shaheen, Margaret Wood Hassan, Robert Menendez, Cory A. Booker, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Charles E. Schumer, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Richard Burr, Thom Tillis, John Hoeven, Heidi Heitkamp, Sherrod Brown, Rob Portman, James Inhofe, Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, Robert Casey, Pat Toomey, Jack Reed, Sheldon whitehouse, Lindsey Graham, Tim Scott, John Thune, Mike Rounds, Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Orrin G. Hatch, Mike Lee, Patrick J. Leahy, Bernie Sanders, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Joe Manchin III, Shelley Moore Capito, Ron Johnson, Tammy Baldwin, Michael B. Enzi, John Barrasso, President of the United States, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Ann Wagner

Stop Forcing Mail Order Pharmacy as Only Choice of Coverage & Monitor Package Temperature

My son, received a life saving liver transplant at the age of 2. His life depends on the potency and effectiveness of chemotherapy/immune suppression medications to prevent his body's immune system from fighting off his transplanted liver. In the past mail order delivered his liquid oral medications in nothing but a plastic envelope on a 102 degree day on a hot enclosed not temperature controlled UPS truck. Shortly after, he went into liver rejection which could have resulted in complete liver failure or death. I speculated that the medication could have been too weak after the delivery of medications in high heat. I vowed to never again risk his life with mail order pharmacy. Recently, we were mandated/forced to only use mail order pharmacy in order to receive coverage for his life saving medications. Hesitant, I begged for an ice pack. The package arrived on an about 90 degree day again without an ice pack. The hot non temperature controlled enclosed delivery truck can reach temperatures up to 170 degrees. His labs elevated again afterwards. My son wants to know, "Why would they do that?" I contacted the manufacturer, who completes all of the testing for my son drugs who stated that both of my son's medications should be discarded and considered less potent once stored above 86 degrees as higher temperatures and freezing could result in lower potency. I also found out that the liquid medication that the youngest children take are the most harmed by the mishandling of medications outside of the manufactures temperature storage guidelines. Our youngest of children's lives are being threatened.  I contacted the mail order pharmacy who refused to replace or take back the medication. They said the law & USP Pharmacopoeia allows them to ship up to 104 degrees, although the manufacturer states it is not proven safe at these temperatures. However, I have received communication from USP Pharmacopoeia who writes the guidelines for storage and they also said that the mail order pharmacy should follow the manufacturer's guidelines of 59-86 degrees for storage. I contacted the FDA, who states that the mail order pharmacy should be using the manufacturer's guidelines that have been proven safe. Not the reference range by USP that has not tested my son's exact medication. However since the mail order pharmacies are regulated loosley by the State Board of Pharmacy, not the FDA there was nothing that the FDA could do.  I spoke with a UPS driver. He states temperatures on his truck are far above 104 degrees on a 90 degree day. He is mandated to keep his door closed unless getting a package. He states it gets so hot on a 90 degree day that he cannot breathe when he opens the back. I made over 30 calls to the insurance company begging for them to please let us pick my son's medications up at the local pharmacy at which they are filled. My son's physician wrote a note/appeal as his transplant team has stated that they have tried to voice their concerns about this issue with their pediatric/child patients and no one is listening! The insurance company still denied the doctor's appeal for us to pick up my son's medications in the safest way. It was not until the Media became evolved that the insurance company budged.  I felt helpless and have untied with many other pharmacist, physicians, patients, mothers and fathers, and caregivers who feel the same way. Helpless. Mail order of prescription drugs should be a choice not the only option of coverage. Mandatory mail order programs from all plan types (INCLUDING the plans that are regulated by ERISA) needs to cease until mail order pharmacies are forced to store and monitor medications during their deliveries at the temperatures tested and proven safe by the manufacturer. I would never put my son's medications in a hot non-temperature controlled environment, and shoudn't be forced to only use this option in order to get coverage for his life saving medications. Mail order pharmacies may appear to save money, but when my son ended up in the hospital after taking medications that could have been compromised by having lower potency, the cost of the rejection was thousands of dollars. If his liver would have fully failed, the cost of his liver transplant for just 5 days (he was in the hospital for 5 weeks) was over $1,000,000. The lax regulation and oversight may save money on prescription drug plans, but may come at an increased cost to the health plan itself. Also, keep in mind the endless waste of medications that automatically are sent regardless of whether or not patients need them. Also, people with chronic, complex conditions, should always have the option of face to face interaction with a pharmacist who knows their complex needs and medical history. Could you imagine being required to go to a different doctor every time you needed medical care for you or your family? The pharmacist and patient relationship is crucial to the successful outcome of the patient's overall health. Taking this away is harmful to patients and be more costly to our already stressed healthcare system. Since starting the petition, many have also stated that they experience life threatening delays in receiving their prescriptions.  Another important fact. Mandatory mail order programs are discriminatory. It is estimated that 40% of our homeless are disabled. How is mandatory mail order fair and working for them as they may not have an address and not even know where they will be from day to day?   We need legislation to protect all patients by ending the mandatory mail order pharmacy coverage in every type of plan offered in the nation.  We need your help to make mandatory mail order an option not a mandate. YOUR URGENT SUPPORT WILL SAVE LIVES! THANK YOU!!

Loretta Boesing
75,078 supporters
Update posted 5 hours ago

Petition to Residents, Property Owners & Businesses of Lincoln Park/Bucktown

No Amazon at Lincoln Yards? Blame General Iron

General Iron's negative Impact on Amazon Standing at the corner of Marcey & Cortland, imagine what the Amazon site selection Committee was  thinking while they were coughing, sinus, eyes and throats burning. If first impressions are important when courting a company that can transform Chicago, then allowing General Iron to spew their pollution seven days a week while Amazon was exploring Lincoln Yards was a huge Administration mistake.  It is analogous to Chicago inviting Amazon to a prom date except Chicago showed up to the date without brushing its teeth, combing its hair and taking a shower. You don't get that 2nd date. How many more HQ's will we let General Iron chase away? Background General Iron is an open-air, scrap metal transfer station, located one block west of Clybourn Avenue at the corner of Cortland and Kingsbury in Lincoln Park. The facility is immediately adjacent to the Chicago River. General Iron has been operating at this location for several decades.  Marilyn Labkon, the owner of General Iron, has made substantial political contributions to many city politicians over the years including Mayor Emanuel and city council members of the Health Committee. Marilyn Labkon is a resident of the north shore.  In June and July 2018, the USEPA issued Notices of Violations (www.epa.gov/il/general-iron) after air quality monitoring detected high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) - known cancer-causing agents.  What is Scrap Metal? Examples of discarded scrap metal are ordinary household metals (aerosol cans, beverage cans, old refrigerators, air conditioners), electrical metals (wire, conduit, light fixtures), car parts (radiators, batteries, transmissions) construction metals (paint cans, aluminum siding, rebar) and industrial metals (welding tanks). Some metals such as batteries, radiators, transmissions, refrigerators and paint cans contain, or are coated with, industrial chemicals. Where Does the Scrap Metal Come From? From anywhere and unknown origins; no questions asked.  Scrappers transport scrap metal from all over the Chicago metropolitan area to the General Iron facility. From small Scrappers who traverse the city alleys to large semi’s loaded with scrap, if it’s scrap metal, it is likely to be discarded at General Iron. The payment for the scrap metal varies based on demand for the various recycled metal. What takes place at General Iron? Monday through Saturday beginning at 5AM, General Iron receives truck loads of scrap metal from both known and unknown sources. The scrap metal is loaded into a shredder that shreds the scrap metal into small pieces. The shredded scrap metal is then loaded into a high-speed conveyor belt and thrown airborne onto large piles that extend 70’ or higher. There are several large piles of scrap metal stockpiled at the facility. Eventually, the shredded scrap metal is loaded onto barges and transported down the river to other facilities where the recycling process continues.   Watch General Iron's operations first hand: Why Should We Be Concerned? 1. While General Iron is known to receive automobiles and refrigerators for shredding, the origin for a substantial amount of the scrap metal received by General Iron is unknown.  General Iron does not pre-screen the scrap metal for coatings that contain hazardous waste, combustionable materials, toxins or contaminants that may be harmful to the environment (such as lead and acid from car batteries and Freon from discarded refrigerators) before the scrap metal is shredded and disbursed airborne into large stockpiles. 2. When the scrap metal exits the shredder, metallic dust known as PM2.5/10 and fiberglass is disbursed by the prevailing winds into the nearby neighborhoods of Lincoln Park and Bucktown. PM2.5/10 is known to contribute to various respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis.  In addition,  the heat generated by the shredding process eviscerates the unknown coatings on the scrap metal causing a plume of cancer-causing VOC's and SVOC's (semi-organic volatile compounds) to be disbursed by the prevailing winds into the nearby residential neighborhoods of Lincoln Park and Bucktown. Fiberglass insulation, contained in automobiles and refrigerator-type products, survives the shredding process. Fiberglass exposure can lead to  a respiratory disease called "asbestosis." Fiberglass insulation originating from General Iron has been found on the grounds of Oscar Mayer, Goddard, KinderCare and St. Josaphat Schools several blocks away.   3. When the stockpiled scrap metal is exposed to water or rain, unknown quantities of metal dust and unknown quantities of coatings/pollutants may be washed onto the ground into the adjacent river and city sewer system. 4. When the scrap is loaded onto barges to be transported down the north branch of the Chicago river, it is likely some scrap metal inadvertently has been spilled into the river causing additional environmental concerns.  5. Periodically, fires have spontaneously ignited in the large scrap piles exposing nearby residents of Lincoln Park and Bucktown toxic plumes of cancer-causing VOC's . Most recently, the morning of Sunday, December 6, 2015 and the morning of Friday, December 11, 2015, the Chicago Fire Department responded to burning piles of scrap metal. The CFD declared the December 6th fire a Level One Hazmat emergency due to nearby Lincoln Park residents and businesses being exposed to plumes of thick, dense smoke and possible exposure to unknown pollutants including VOC's for a two hour period before the fire was extinguished. 6. From time-to-time, spontaneous combustion has taken place at General Iron when unknown, highly volatile gases are ignited. 7. The Lincoln Park neighborhood is exposed to significant noise levels from General Iron’s operations six days a week including as early as 5AM on Saturdays. Can General Iron relocate to other parts of the city that is a safe distance from residential neighborhoods? Yes. There are many parts of the city where a shredder can operate safely without jeopardizing the health and well-being of residents who would otherwise live in close proximity to their facility. In addition, General Iron has the option of investing and installing state-of-the-art containment systems that would mitigate exposure to the nearby neighborhoods by containing their dust, smoke, insulation and water on their premises. 

Concerned Neighbors
2,026 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to Environmental Protection Agency

Tell the EPA: Ban paraquat, an herbicide linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Despite being banned in 32 countries, paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. Yet many studies, including one as recent as 2017, show that paraquat exposure increases risk of Parkinson’s disease. We believe the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should join other countries in banning the use of this herbicide.   Parkinson’s is a chronic, degenerative neurological disease that impacts nearly 1 million Americans. Currently, there is no treatment to slow, stop or reverse the progression of Parkinson’s, nor is there a cure. Every 15 years, the EPA reviews all herbicides to confirm they comply with federal safety standards, and paraquat is currently under review. That’s why your signature is so important today. The Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council, led by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, educates lawmakers on the causes of Parkinson’s and advocates for public policy changes that support patients and families. Last year, the Council sent a letter to the EPA outlining paraquat’s health risks and asking for it to be banned in the United States. Introduced in the 1960s, paraquat kills most green plant tissue on contact and is often used as an alternative for weeds resistant to glyphosate, the herbicide commonly known as “Roundup.” There are other means of pest-control that farmers can use to obtain an adequate yield without increasing Parkinson’s risk. Please sign our petition asking the EPA Administrator to protect Americans and prohibit the use of paraquat.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
103,272 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Blue Cross Blue Shield

Insurance Coverage by BCBS TX for Reed

Our 4 year old, Reed, has experienced developmental delays in all areas since he was an infant. A recent brain MRI has shown some neurological abnormalities. He has received speech, physical, and occupational therapies since he was a year old. He initially received therapy services from our local Early Childhood Intervention program, but began receiving private therapy services at the age of 3. He has made steady progress with consistent therapy, but it is anticipated that Reed will continue to need therapy over the years to reach his full potential. Last year, Reed was on a BCBS PPO insurance plan through my employer that covered all of his therapies through home health. He is now on a different BCBS PPO through my husband's employer as of August 2018. From August to October of 2018, this insurance plan covered a home health agency coming to Reed's daycare for his therapy. This allowed him to receive therapy while my husband and I both worked full time in order to make enough to cover the cost. Although the therapy was "covered," we are required to pay the full cost until we meet a high deductible. BCBS has recently denied more therapy visits for Reed stating that they have a policy of only covering home health visits for children who are unable to leave their house. When the therapy company asked to see this policy in writing, BCBS has been unable to produce it. During a peer to peer review with Reed's doctor, the insurance company said they would cover the visits if the home health agency billed them as "not in the home." However, BCBS has a contract with the home health agency stating they must bill the therapy as being in the home. So BCBS asked me to tell the therapy company to do something that they have a contract with the therapy company stating that they cannot do. Just 3 months ago, they covered his visits through home health. They are now trying to force us to take Reed to an outpatient facility if we want his therapy visits to count towards our deductible. We are unable to do that without one of us significantly reducing the amount we work, and therefore, our income to be able to pay for these therapies until we meet the high deductible. I believe this is a move by BCBS to keep us from meeting our deductible so that they will not have to do their part and begin paying for services once the deducible is met. They are enacting "policies" at random and suggesting billing changes that they know the therapy company cannot do as part of a game to avoid providing coverage. Home health is not solely for children who are unable to leave their homes. I am a home health speech therapist myself and none of the 20+ children I have worked with over the past year have been confined to their homes. Various insurance companies, BCBS included, have covered services for these children so that they could receive therapy and their parents could continue to work or be available to care for other children in the home while therapy was done. Additionally, BCBS has imposed a 60 visit limit for all therapies. This means that they will only allow a few months worth of therapy to count towards our deductible. It will take 47 visits for us to meet our deductible. Then BCBS will cover 13 before we will again be responsible for the full cost. Reed needs consistent, year-round therapy for years to come. Visit limits are based on the therapy model for adults recovering from strokes and brain injuries where they receive intensive therapy over a short period of time. It is RE-habilitative. Therapy for children is habilitative. They are not recovering lost skills, but gaining them for the first time. That requires more than just a few months of therapy. The combination of denying home health and an unreasonable visit limit will bankrupt our family or force us to not be able to get him the help he needs. We are not looking for a handout but just asking BCBS to provide the health coverage we are working hard to earn and pay for. Reed has been making good progress with therapy and deserves the chance to gain the skills he needs to succeed in life. Please help us appeal to BCBS not only for Reed, but the thousands of other families being put in this position by these "policies" that insurance companies use to avoid meeting their responsibility to cover services.

Kimberly Richards
55,743 supporters