California Chronic Care Coalition is Seeking Stories

The definition for a chronic illness is one lasting 3 months or more (U.S. National Center for Health Statistics). Seventy-five per cent of our health care spending is on people with chronic conditions. These persistent conditions – the nation’s leading causes of death and disability – leave in their wake deaths that could have been prevented, lifelong disability, compromised quality of life, and burgeoning health care costs. The facts are arresting:

  • Seven out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases.
  • In 2005, 133 million Americans – almost 1 out of every 2 adults – had at least one chronic illness.
  • About one-fourth of people with chronic conditions have one or more daily activity limitations.
  • Health disparities in chronic disease incidence and mortality are widespread among members of racial and ethnic minority populations. For example, heart disease death rates are higher among African Americans than whites, and diabetes rates are substantially higher among American Indians and Alaska Natives than whites.
  • Mental illnesses and chronic diseases are closely related. Chronic diseases can exacerbate symptoms of depression, and depressive disorders can themselves lead to chronic diseases.

Read more about the coalition at

What you can do.

The California Chronic Care Coalition is seeking stories about health consumers residing in California that currently are being denied health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions for chronic health conditions of any kind and/or care or are assigned to a high risk-pool program that is beyond an affordable cost or fails to meet their minimum medical needs for a chronic illness or condition.

“We are also seeking statements from those that are interested in voluntarily testifying about their situation to California legislative committees within the next few days and weeks in order to paint real examples that will educate our law makers regarding the system deficiencies and need for reform,” writes Bill Remak, Chairman, California Hepatitis C Task Force, Steering & Communications Committee Member, California Chronic Care Coalition.

“Anyone interested in responding to this appeal may contact me directly at my cell 707 364-1802 and/or leave a message or call Elizabeth Helms at 916-300-8687 during normal office hours. Please understand that a patient bringing information about their plight and disclosing publicly their personal private information, is waiving their right to privacy regarding the information they reveal but that in doing so this may be instrumental to provide the convincing facts for legislators and regulators to review existing policies and to improve them which may impact many thousands now and in the future.”

“Thank you for your help and feel free to forward this to others. Due to the time restrictions we are working under, we cannot promise that all the responses we receive will be used.”

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Bill Remak, B.Sc. MT, B. Public Health, SGNA, AHCJ.
Chairman, California Hepatitis C Task Force
Steering & Communications Committee Member,
California Chronic Care Coalition
Chair, National Association of Hepatitis Task Forces
Secretary of the Board of Directors, FAIR Foundation
(Fair Allocations In Research)

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