Time for new leadership in Congress

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I recently listened to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers talk about how the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare, has increased health insurance rates. This isn't fair since it doesn't fully kick in until 2014.

The fact is health insurance rates had been increasing annually prior to the Affordable Healthcare Act. My premiums were going up 15 percent or more every year for years and 39 percent the last year before I moved to Washington, where I couldn't get health insurance at all because of a pre-existing condition!

McMorris Rodgers emphasized she didn't want the federal government making health-care decisions for her and her family. I didn't like Blue Cross of California telling me it wouldn't allow the conventional cancer surgery my oncologist, to whom Blue Cross had sent me, prescribed.

I think a so-called federal government "death panel" would have been more humane than the Blue Cross' authorization process. I was notified less than 24 hours before scheduled surgery that Blue Cross had finally authorized the procedure after endless calls from my oncologist and attorney.

Blue Cross isn't any different than other private health insurance companies. All private health insurance companies with which I have had health insurance have authorization or "death" panels.

That's how publicly traded companies operate. Profit is their main business, not health care.

To add insult to injury, after surgery and labelled with a pre-existing condition, I immediately became a slave to California if I wanted to continue the insurance I had. To move out of state meant reapplying for insurance with little possibility of acceptance. I made the move to Washington and lived for the day I would turn 65 and would be on Medicare.

Thankfully it wasn't that long until I turned 65 but long enough to worry about not having insurance. When private insurance companies can hold you hostage to a particular state, it sure doesn't feel like living in the land of the free.

I can't be the only person in the country who has had a similar experience. Either McMorris Rodgers is totally out of touch, uninformed or ideologically mean spirited, none of which are terrific qualities.

If her position on health care was the exception, I would be less concerned about her strange representation but she misses in too many areas. Time for a change of leadership, and I believe Rich Cowan is the much needed change.

Carlan Bradshaw

Walla Walla

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