Letters to the Editor

Health care reform: It's needed

We need health care reform! I urge others in Kitsap County to support the strides we are making.

My husband Benjamin was diagnosed, at age 20, on March 23, with Type 1 diabetes. He had to be rushed to the emergency room with blood sugar levels that were four times the safe level.

We applied in mid March for health insurance, not knowing that he had this serious illness. As we waited for our application to be approved he had and emergent problem leading us to the emergency room where he was diagnosed with diabetes.

Two long weeks later we got a letter stating that his coverage was considered effective on April 1. This left us facing the huge bills prior to that date, and finding ourselves in the category of “preexisting conditions.”

We have been left to wander the incredibly complex maze of the health care system with all its twists and turns. We are now without insurance coverage of anything diabetes-related for nine months.

I am a teacher and my husband a warehouse manager and worship pastor. He works over 60 hours a week and has a bare minimum insurance plan, covered only in part by his employer. (Blessings on his boss!) The most scary and serious health issues, diabetes, in his life are not covered at all. And beyond that we have found that almost any health issue can be labeled as “related to diabetes” whether or not it is acually related.

We now live in fear of even trying to use our insurance because we can be “dropped” and then labeled “uninsurable.”

We are a young newlywed couple, ages 20 and 25, having just celebrated our one-year anniversary this June. We are trying to do the responsible thing by having health insurance. And yet we are strapped with overwhelming bills, and not enough help.

We are left to self diagnose problems via the internet, to read books, and watch videos when really what we need is a doctor and a nutritionist to help us wade through this scary disease.

We need health care reform, so that everyone has access to health care and so that people like us don’t fall through the cracks or miss their chance to get help.

I fully support President Barack Obama’s principles for health care reform.

The first of these is reducing costs -- costs that are crushing the budgets of governments, businesses, let alone individuals and families like our’s -- and they must be brought under control. The second is a guaranteed choice. Americans need the freedom to choose their plan and doctor, including the choice of a public insurance option. And finally ensurance of quality care for all.

All Americans must have quality and affordable health care.

Alex Jacobson

Poulsbo

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