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"We may not always get what we want, but surely we will get what we deserve."
                                                                                      - Doug Horton

an email to the editor of the deseret news

To:      "Deseret News Editor" <letter@desnews.com>
From:    "Christian Terry" <christianterry@hotmail.com>
Date:    Thurs, 09 Dec 2004 10:42:18 -0700 (MST)
Subject: Beyond the Level of Crisis


To the Editor,

    I have a son who a few years ago became stricken with cancer.  Since that tragic day, health care has become a central concern for my family.  Like most parents, I would like to see my children have the best of everything.  Sometimes however that is not in the budget.  Regrettably, when it comes to health care I am finding that my benefits are decreasing while the cost is rising.  It is becoming more and more difficult for me to afford this necessity.

    This year my employer of 11 years is changing its benefits to a new health plan.  The plan utterly fails my needs as a provider for my family.  Because of my now disabled child, I have no choice but to retain health benefits for my family; I must move to a new job.  The prospect of leaving everything I have known to pursue health insurance has been terrifying for me.   

    I have been doing a great deal of study regarding the rising costs of health care.  You may not realize it, but the costs of health insurance premiums are rising five times faster than cost of living wage increases.  I cannot imagine what my feelings would be if my rent, car payment, or credit card bill rose 14 percent every year.  Sadly, most of us live paycheck to paycheck with little to spare.  I personally look forward five years and wonder how I will pay for all of my bills and afford health care for my son.

    The medical costs of my son have exceeded 1.5 million dollars over the last three years.  I can assure you that amount surpasses my earnings in leaps and bounds.  Such a financial burden without the protection of good health insurance could cripple my family‚Äôs finances.  What choice do I have?  Can I let my son go without insurance simply because I cannot afford it?  No, I cannot.  This year I, and many others, will be looking for a new job somewhere else.  

    Health care has moved beyond the level of crisis.  If I can loose my benefits, then you could too.  The system is sick, and in need of urgent care.  Lawmakers, providers, and consumers must work together to curb rising costs.  We must all conserve precious resources, and ensure that American families can afford this needed service.  If something is not done to ensure care is available for families, we may all loose in the end.

Chritian Terry, Student
Salt Lake Community College
1575 S State Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
(801) 957-3413 adanger4@mymail.slcc.edu.