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Coloradans Falling Through Health Care Cracks Share Stories Saturday

April 17, 2009

Denver - As Congress considers health care reforms, Coloradans who are in the middle of the issue will share their stories at an event in Denver tomorrow.

Dr. Adam Gilden-Tsai, a physician who sees patients at Denver Health, says he sees too many people ending up hospitalized for conditions that could have been prevented with medications they weren't able to afford.

"They just couldn't do it because they were uninsured or under-insured."

Linda Medlock is one such case. The Denver resident is a single mother who recently lost her health insurance when she went part-time at work. She can't afford COBRA payments, and doesn't qualify for Medicaid, so she says she's been going without the medication she needs to treat her diabetes.

"Even today, I feel kind of bad, and it's kind of an ongoing thing, day by day."

Medlock has no way to pay to treat her disease, and there are many others like her, she adds.

"People who have life-threatening diseases - without medication, people can die. Simple as that."

Both Gilden-Tsai and Medlock will share their stories at an event in Denver's Confluence Park Saturday, where they'll be joined by others urging lawmakers to take action on health care reform. The program starts at 2:00 p.m. and will be followed by a one mile walk, roll or stroll for the cause. Event organizers say they're not asking for financial donations, but instead for pledges to bring five friends.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO