This is a letter that I recently sent to my senators. I tried to keep it relatively short and to the point.
Dear Senator Merkley,
I am writing to ask that you support not only health insurance reform and some form of nationalized health care, but also that you support reform of the health care service system in this country.
My family has serious chronic health problems that are not addressed by conventional medicine beyond the prescription of expensive, largely ineffective, and sometimes dangerous medications. My son is close to recovered now from his Autism Spectrum Disorder, something that most MDs are not aware is possible let alone knowledgeable in helping with. We have accomplished this by diligently educating ourselves, by seeking out the few knowledgeable doctors in this field, and by spending well over $20,000 of our own money.
The treatments that we have done are less expensive and more effective than conventional therapies, but are not covered by insurance while the conventional therapies are. It used to be true that conventional treatment of autism went forward without adequate evidence, now it can be said that it goes forward despite the evidence.
Oregon has one of the highest rates of autism in the nation, last quoted at around 1 in 120 children (this is NOT including the milder forms of the disorder, such as what my son has). If you include the milder forms the number can be quoted as high as 1 in 6. Although there is some evidence that the rate of autism has begun to decline since 2004, and that the average severity of cases is declining, this figure is sobering and threatens the economic stability of the state in the future.
I bring this up to you to make the point of how important access to adequate, effective medical care is, especially for the children who are the workers of the future. It is vitally important that medicine be open and responsive to dealing with the health problems underlying the Autism Spectrum Disorders, there is growing evidence that these health problems are far more common and indicate a widespread environmental poisoning. So, it is not only vital that health insurance be reformed, but that this reform encompasses a wider agenda of increasing access to meaningful, up-to-date, skilled care that can meet the wide range of health problems that exist today.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this issue. I would be happy to provide your office with research citations and more information.