From: Herbert Stein [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 7:47 AM
To: Madam Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
Cc: Jonathan Blum, Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center of Medicare at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Amy Larrick, Senior Advisor to the Principal Deputy Administrator Centers for Medicare & Medicaid; Stephen J. Hemsley – CEO, United Healthcare; Chet Burrell, President & CEO CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
Subject: “It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats…those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
Dear Madam Secretary Sebelius,
Yesterday I received an email response from my son-in-law in regards to the previous email I sent to you entitled “The Buck Stops here!” in which he said,
“When are you throwing your hat into the Gubernatorial race?
I’ll move down there to vote for you. ”
I in turn replied to my son-in-law,
“I thought I was done with this until the last two weeks when I got four requests for help both from patients and doctors.
The bureaucracy and crap that goes on in DC is unfathomable. It is truly amazing anything ever gets done in this country.
I’d just like to retire to some peace and quiet.”
I should have properly stated “I’d just like to retire once again to some peace and quiet”.
The advocating for the VNS Therapy depression volunteer study subjects expanded to include all the implanted VNS depression medical device patients who were short changed by the sponsor (Cyberonics), the FDA, CMS and all the medical professionals who established the original protocols for these studies and through subsequent implants after the FDA approval through their oversight to provide medical care for these patients. Honestly Madam Secretary while you did look resplendent in your blue suit this past evening I would like to retire once again knowing you took proper care of these patients.
What started as a self-serving cause for me to obtain health insurance coverage for my spouse grew into an advocacy for a small group of VNS Therapy depression patients. These patients are responding and obtaining efficacy, as is my spouse, as never before while also achieving a reasonable quality of life for themselves. The FDA approved this therapy for both Epilepsy and Depression. CMS early on only approved the therapy for epilepsy while denying coverage for depression and only up until recently in their “Stealth decision” have they issued an approval for depression. What remains is to overcome the denials and discrimination on the part of a number health insurance carriers and the reason I am looking to you to rectify the balance of this outrageous injustice.
Next to your mission statement on your webpage is a quote:
The patients for whom I advocate are “…those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.”
I truly hope this quote and the words contained therein, you and your agency adhere to and act upon and is not posted on your site to look pretty and simply fill space on a webpage. Your fellow Americans need your help; now!
It is time for you to respond and finally act responsibly and exhibit leadership on behalf of these sick patients. Please issue a communication (mandate, directive and/or some piece of paper) to all the health insurance industry to morally and rightfully cover these patient subscribers and not discriminate in any manner against this mental health group in their dire need for care.
Please truly treat these patients (your fellow Americans) with respect and care that they deserve and in doing so allow me to return to my retirement, once again, so that I may better care for my spouse.
Joyce and Herbert Stein
1008 Trailmore Lane
Weston, FL 33326-2816
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