I am appalled by your story on Wisconsin's health insurance regulator ("Unable to Resolve Your Complaint," 10/23/09). The state should take a stand, because health care is critical. Until President Obama and Congress pass the public option, it is only going to get worse.
About 20 years ago, I broke a finger on a ski trip several hundred miles from Madison. The local hospital took an X-ray, put a splint on it and told me to see my primary physician when I got back to Madison. I notified my HMO as soon as I got back but my bills were denied because it was out-of-area.
I wrote back that they should provide the insurance I had been paying for. They told me I could appear before their appeals committee. I replied that, as a university employee with another 20 or so years of working life, I would just switch to another HMO. They immediately agreed to cover my bills.
As consumers, we have some leverage over these health insurance providers. (Please just use my initials if this is printed as I'm still with the same HMO!)
The need for sex ed
Thank you for covering the Healthy Youth Act ("Sex Ed Bill Stirs Controversy," 10/22/09). It's an important bill for many different reasons.
My now 17-year-old daughter was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her biological father from age 4 to age 12. We were no longer together when this occurred.
My daughter appeared to be a normal, healthy child who suffered from nightmares I thought were due to separation anxiety. Many visits to her primary care physician, as well as five years of counseling with a pediatric psychologist, did not unearth the horror she was living.
My daughter was driven to disclose the abuse to me two days after her eighth-grade health teacher discussed incest during the human sexuality portion of the class. This highlights the importance of having age-appropriate discussions about sexuality and abuse in the school environment, as the Healthy Youth Act aims to do.
I implore all Wisconsin legislators to support this bill.
Sheila Johnston, Middleton
I work in Spanish bilingual education with adults. Many of the families I work with who have school-age children are not provided information about healthy sexuality at home. Their parents do not know how to even begin a conversation.
These parents want to have these informed dialogues with their children, want to meet their kids where they are at, want the opportunity to talk about their own religious and family values and sexuality, want to work in tandem with schools.
Making sure the facts are relayed in school is the least we can do to demonstrate that we value the potential in all Wisconsin youth.