On Behalf of Needy Weight loss Surgery (WLS) Patients sign now

Dear Senator or Representative:

Childhood and adult obesity in the United States is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions and it is having severe impact on Health Care providers. It has been determined that there is a strong link between morbid obesity and other life threatening conditions such as breast cancer, heart disease, colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, endometrial cancer, end-stage renal disease, gallbladder disease, hypertension, liver disease, low back pain, and renal cell cancer. Compounding the problem is the fact that most morbidly obese people suffer from two or more of these co-morbidities.

Figures provided by the American Obesity Association in 1999 dollars estimate the cost for treating these co-morbidities totaled $331 billion, and the figure continues to grow. One way or another, all Americans bear the cost for this medical care. In order to reverse this trend, there are two issues that must be addressed remedying the current problem and preventing future recurrence. This petition deals with the former.

In recent years, many health insurance companies have come to the realization that it is more cost effective over the long-term to surgically treat this disease rather than to treat the associated cop-morbidities. Unfortunately, this does not apply to all insurers, many of which continue to have exclusions against weight loss surgery. Many of these have still been denied after an extensive and arduous appeal process despite the fact that weight loss surgery has been determined to be a medical necessity. In addition, there are a growing number of citizens who have no health insurance at all. The end result of this is that there are thousands of people who do not want to be a financial burden on society but cannot afford the alternative. These people are on a downward spiraling journey of degenerating health and reduced quality of life over which they have little to no control. Ultimately, their lives will end prematurely because they could not afford to take appropriate preventive measures.

We, the undersigned, are petitioning on their behalf in support of the establishment of a nationally recognized charity to assist those who require financial assistance to obtain medically required weight loss surgery. In order to ensure legitimacy of need, this charity should have rigidly defined qualification criteria both for determining medical necessity and, similar to other financial aid programs, established procedures for ascertaining the level of need.

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Willa LeonardBy:
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U.S. Congress

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