As part of my Arthritis Ambassador assignment this month, I just emailed my Congressional Representative about physician reimbursement payments and therapy cap exceptions for arthritis patients who rely on Medicare.
I know, I know, I am only 29 years old - nowhere near the Medicare age of 65. And most of the arthritis patients on Medicare are probably dealing with OA anyhow, rather than RA. So why on earth do I care what happens with Medicare? Here's why:
For one thing, arthritis is unacceptable. Period. Any type of arthritis pain seriously affects your quality of life. And I think anyone who suffers from arthritis is entitled to treatment.
For another thing, if long term solutions for these issues are not reached, patients with arthritis who rely on Medicare might have trouble accessing their doctors when they really need care. Or they may have to stop their arthritis therapy treatments because of the prohibitive cost. That just doesn't seem right to me.
As for me, more personally, RA is a chronic disease - one that I will literally have to deal with for the rest of my life. Someday I may need Medicare myself to get the arthritis treatment that I need. In the meantime, the structure of Medicare could potentially affect my own health insurance policy.
For this reason - for myself, my family, and other suffering from arthritis - I've asked my Representative to:
- Extend the therapy caps exception process
- NOT to cut Medicare physician payments
- And to find long-term solutions to these issues so arthritis patients who rely on Medicare can have access to the health care they need and deserve.
This is an issue that Congress is working on right now - and they are only working on it until the end of February! So, while they are deciding what to do, it would be really great if members of Congress heard from people who really care about arthritis.
If you want to take action too, you can send a quick email to your Representative by clicking here.