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A New Hope for Healthcare

The election is over and congratulations to President-elect Barack Obama and all the local and State representatives. Everything that happens from now on not only depends on the President’s abilities, but it also depends on our ability to do what we can. I know that one man cannot fix the world, and it would be naive of me to think otherwise, but I am hopeful for the possibilities, especially when it comes to our healthcare. I do believe that until the economy is doing better, the healthcare issue is going to take a back seat for a while.

One of the hardest things that people being diagnosed with pemphigus and pemphigoid have to decide is whether they should leave their job, go on disability and maybe lose their healthcare. Even if disability coverage is approved, there is still a 24 month waiting period for Medicare. {quotes}No one who needs disability coverage should have to wait during the most critical time to access medical care.{/quotes} The first two years of our diseases are the most difficult.

Every year, Representative Gene Green, 57th district of Texas, introduces a bill to ban this waiting period for people who are approved for disability. In 2005, the IPPF had our first Capitol Hill Day and asked our representatives to fight for eliminating the 24 month waiting period for Medicare. So far it has not passed, but Representative Green believes in this bill and will be introducing it again in the first session in 2009.

This is an important bill for many, not just for people with our diseases. We have joined with the Medicare Rights Center (www.medicarerights.org) which is dedicated to bringing this bill to the floor and getting a vote. If anyone is having any issues with their Medicare or would need basic information on Medicare, that is the place to go. As we get information on this, we will pass it along and ask you to please, contact your representatives to encourage them to vote yes on this bill. We have a connection on our website with contact information for to your Representatives. Just go to www.pemphigus.org/makeadifference and there are links to US representatives (and Canadian parliment!).

I know some of you might be worried about how Medicare would pay for this; when a person gets the right care immediately, everyone saves. The patient is better and can return to work, then pay back into the system. I see it as a win-win proposition. President-elect Obama has asked us all to contribute. This is a great way for all of us to contribute. Help the IPPF support this Bill when it again comes to the floor of Congress.

Janet

Posted in Issue 55 - Winter 2008

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