Writing to your congressman actually works!!

My future mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s covered through her ex-husband’s military insurance (known as Tricare). After initial tests, she was all set to go into the very excellent cancer center near her house when the Tricare folks called and said they were denying her referral and were going to make her use a not-at-all-nearby military facility. She’s had some very bad experiences at military hospitals and, besides, had two sons living at home, had little money to be spending on gas, and very unreliable transportation. And the Tricare administrator flat out said they were only denying the referral (and her subsequent appeal) to save some money, even though spending more money would get her better and more accessible treatment.

We felt this was unjust and helped her draft a letter to her Congressman. It was only one of many avenues we pursued and we didn’t put much stock in it. But a couple days after the letter was sent in, she got a call from the congressman himself promising an inquiry. And two days after that, the Tricare administrator’s office called her back and, without explanation, said they had changed their mind and would allow for a referral to any facility she’d like.

We can’t think of any other explanation for this other than the congressman putting a little pressure on the Tricare people. So just goes to show you, some of these people actually do care a lot about their constituents. Not bad, especially for a Republican. :wink:

Well it is an election year and healthcare is supposed to be a big issue this year.

Or maybe someone just did their job.

Which Congressman was it?

Gus Bilirakis of Florida’s 9th District. Turns out a couple weeks before we contacted him, he had shaved his head because a local cancer charity had met its fundraising goal. So the guy clearly sees the issue as a priority.

And actually, he’s in a safe Republican district, so it’s not like ignoring our letter would have resulted in him being booted from office.

One of my patients told me that he had been declared dead by the Social Security Administration. He wasn’t able to get his monthly checks any longer, among other things. He also couldn’t get an explanation about how this had happened. After weeks of getting nowhere with them, he called his representative in the US House, Rahm Emanuel. It was fixed within days.

SNenc you misspelled **Tri-not to-Care ** at least that has been my parents feelings about them with some of my Dad’s medical issues. One serves his country for over 24 years with a promise of healthcare covered when he retires and is denied coverage for referals that his primary care doctor approved but they would not. I have been tempted to write my congressman. You have inspired me to do just that.

I have required a lot of medical care in the past few years, including many referrals. A stroke, three different cancers, serious intestinal difficulties, hypertension, high cholesterol (Gettin’ old sucks). Just a couple weeks ago I went back to my primary care physician and told him I was dissatisfied w/ his original referral and wanted to try another, he didn’t hesitate and I haven’t had a bit of trouble w/ Tricare. The new doctors make the previous ones look like amatuers, for which I’m greatful since my life is on the line. I’m not sure how much has been covered by Tricare in the last few years, but I’m damn sure it would have bankrupted me, probably several times over. My medical coverage, under Medicare/Tricare is worth far more to me than my retirement pay.

All right! Sometimes those people can be useful, hard as it is to believe.

Do you think he’s earned your votes for the upcoming election?

He sounds a great deal better than my local MP, Margaret Moran, who is a complete and utter waste of space.

It appears the OP is not in the same district as the FMIL, so whether or not the vote was earned, it most likely won’t be cast.