Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Wrote to My Congressmen

I have written to my Congressmen many times about many things. When I do, I try to stay with the basic subject matter, and do not bring in personal details. This time was different. I was so frustrated and angry with my struggle to get my prescription insurance company to cover the medication that my doctor has prescribed, I just had to get it off my chest. I wrote about my own personal problem. I went farther than that. I mentioned that the members of Congress aren't all that concerned, since their own health care is well taken care of, that they are swayed by pressure from lobbyists, that I'm sick of their TV commercials telling us how they are fighting for us while they are obviously not addressing our needs. And then I added a paragraph asking them to do me the huge favor of NOT responding with a form letter. I said I'd rather not hear from them at all than to get a form about their gratitude for my interest and their good intentions. I also may have mentioned that these form letters always go on to extol their own accomplishments.

I am aware, of course, that the Congressmen themselves do not read all of their mail. That would be just about impossible. Maybe they read none of it. Staff members read it and, hopefully, tally up how many constituents feel this way or that. I guess the other two Congressmen took me at my word, and that's fine with me. They have not responded. Senator Robert Menendez, or rather, one of his staff, has sent me a handwritten note asking me to call him. This person has a title: Special Projects Coordinator. I guess I have now become a "special project". I called him to find out what he had to say.

He told me that they forwarded my letter to the insurance company, adding that sometimes, noting the interest of a Congressman may cause them to act. Or may not. They would also copy it to Washington.

Later the same day, I received a call from the insurance company - their department that handles complaints. The woman told me there is no record in my file of any complaint. That's strange, because I have spoken about this with their Customer Service Department, and if I am to believe my doctor, he has talked with them as well. The woman told me she would call my doctor and try to help me. We shall see. I don't expect a miracle, but I do appreciate the fact that one of my three Congressmen made some kind of gesture. It's getting close to the time when we are permitted to change insurance companies. If enough of their clients express dissatisfaction, I suppose it's possible they might make some concessions. So folks - write your Congressmen.


Daryl said...

NOW, write to the other two and let them (a) you got a response and spoke to someone in Senator Menendez's office (b)that you have a blog and (c) that if they want to get reelected they need to pay better attention to their constituents.

I would also send your original letter and a copy of the response to the President .. seriously .. he too has people who read his mail but since healthcare is at the forefront of his presidency I am betting you get more attention.

Sylvia K said...

I agree with Daryl, Bobbie, you've got a great thing started here, so add some more fuel to the fire. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my coverage continues to be as good as it is, but good coverage should be available to all of us!

Good for you! Keep on it!


Rambling Woods said...

When I was having trouble getting disability I contacted our Congressman and I know they contacted SSD... It never hurts, I wish I had thought of that when my insurance turned down a med my neurologist wanted to use for my MS... Good going Bobbie.. Michelle

Unknown said...

Excellent. Keep us posted, Bobbie.

karin said...

Good for you Bobbie, I agree with Daryl. In my letters to my congressmen and the President I spoke about all the elder blogs. It's also good to know you can still get a response. When I lived in Rochester, NY my state legislature representative had sponsored a bill getting chiropractic covered by the insurance companies so I went to a chiropractor and then found out that Blue Cross wouldn't cover me because I was no longer in a group. I wrote to my legislator and the bills from he chiropractor stopped coming. Speaking of Blue Cross when a new stadium was built in Rochester, guess who outbid everybody on the naming of it. It is the Blue Choice stadium! I couldn't believe that's where my premiums were going.