Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Letter To My Congressman

Hi Congressman Marchant,

We appreciate all the work you're doing for us, and enjoy following your email newsletters.
I’m writing with concern for the current state of healthcare, and to ask for your help in changing it for the better by co-sponsoring H.R. 207, which would make health care sharing ministries compatible with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
Employer-sponsored health insurance isn’t accessible for my family, because my husband works full-time in a contract position, and I work part-time, so I’m more available to care for our kids and our home.
Did you know that in your district there isn’t a single independent health insurance plan that includes maternity care? Here is a quote from a recent conversation I had with an e-health insurance representative (one of the most popular online exchanges to compare health insurance options):
“There aren’t plans to cover maternity on our website in your area.”
Their website offers plans from Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and UnitedHealth, among others, and not one offers maternity care, apart from an employer-sponsored plan.  Regardless, even if they did, I’m certain it’s not at a price we could afford.
Granted, I know you’re not a supporter of the Affordable Care Act, but it seems to be an inevitable direction for our country, and in my opinion, at least it’s a step toward better healthcare access for all. When health insurance is mandatory for everyone, will it include maternity care, at an affordable premium, for families like mine?
Kenny, how is it that the Affordable Care Act can define mandatory wellness care for women to include the artificial altering of her system by the birth control pill, a Group I carcinogen according to the World Health Organization, but does not define women’s wellness care to include pregnancy: a natural, cyclical state of her body? The inclusion of compulsory birth control prescriptions in the ACA seem to imply natural fertility is a disease, and pregnancy the worst manifestation of this disease. But pregnancy is a woman’s healthy, natural, cyclical response to sex; if anything should be considered wellness care for women, it should be prenatal, childbirth, and postnatal care.
I’m actually not advocating free maternity healthcare for all; on the contrary, I understand that the responsibility of having children comes with the responsibility of paying for them.
Our family has found a great solution for affordable, comprehensive healthcare that allows us to be financially responsible, without depending on the government to foot our medical bills, but also doesn't force us into medical bankruptcy over childbirth. We are members of Samaritan Ministries, a healthcare cost sharing program, which covers all of our needs, including maternity, and we couldn't be happier.
We’re grateful that in the bureaucratic nightmare of the Affordable Care Act, Samaritan Ministries was able to ensure that members of health care sharing ministries will not be subject to the new insurance mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. (And as I mentioned above, even if we were to purchase health insurance, there isn’t a plan available that would meet our need for both affordable premiums and maternity care.)
Since we are self-pay patients for medical care, our household would greatly benefit from an HSA. We already utilize price shopping and personal savings to provide for our medical needs, but an HSA would allow us, and possibly our employers, to contribute tax-free deposits to an account that’s specifically for our family’s healthcare.
As our nation goes through the challenge of enacting health care reform and addressing changes in our health care system, it is often the simplest ideas that make the best solutions. Please consider co-sponsoring H.R. 207 in support of HSAs for health care sharing ministries.
Thank you,
Charlene Bader

1 comment:

  1. Great news! Yes, Congressman Marchant is co-sponsoring the bill!