Dear Ms. Swanson Patrick:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for cancer awareness in prospective health care reform legislation. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome your input.

There are at least 47 million citizens in the United States who are uninsured, and approximately 50 million who are underinsured. In these trying economic times, with increasing job lay-offs and the skyrocketing costs of private health insurance, I believe it is a moral and economic imperative that everyone should have affordable health insurance-regardless of where they work, their income, their age, or their health status.

As you know, cancer has surpassed heart disease as the number one cause of death of Americans under 85 years old, striking one out of every two men and one out of every three women. With an increasing number of people with cancer needing comprehensive care, it is crucial that we bolster our efforts to invest in this area. We must make sure that health care coverage is available and affordable for all Americans, and we must make aggressive research efforts to find better treatments and a cure.

You may be interested to know that I am a cosponsor of the Assuring and Improving Cancer Treatment Education and Cancer Symptom Management Act of 2009 (H.R. 1927), that would provide for Medicare coverage of comprehensive cancer patient treatment education services. Additionally, the bill would expand, intensify, and coordinate research programs within the National Institutes of Health directed towards improving the treatment of symptoms and side effects associated with cancer and cancer treatment.

I certainly understand the need for improved coverage and care for those who currently have cancer and for preventative care for those at risk to contract cancer in the future. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as the House considers comprehensive health care reform legislation.

An on-going job of a Representative in Congress is to help constituents solve problems with federal agencies, access services, and get their questions answered promptly. On my website, I offer a detailed guide to the services my office can provide to you as a constituent. I also encourage you to subscribe to the Washington Update, my email newsletter which contains information on local events, my work in Washington, and even lets you weigh in on important issues through online polls. Visit me online at http://schiff.house.gov to subscribe. Please know that you can always reach me at (626) 304-2727 or via my website if I can ever be of additional assistance.

Thank you again for your thoughts. I hope you will continue to share your views and ideas with me.

Sincerely,

Adam B. Schiff

Member of Congress

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