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This week we’re featuring “Health Reform by the Numbers,” an online campaign using key figures to raise awareness about why we just can’t wait for reform. Today's number: 8.

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  • 8 -- The number of people every minute who are denied coverage, charged a higher rate, or otherwise discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition. [Source:]
  • 8 -- The number of lobbyists hired by special interests to influence health reform for every member of Congress in 2009. [Source: Center for Public Integrity]

Ellen Linderman is a wife and farmer -- and one of those 8 people every minute that’s been discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition.  Here’s her story:

Ellen is a 61-year old farmer in Carrington, ND. She has had several difficult experiences with health care in recent years. Ellen was initially denied health insurance coverage a few years back when she and her husband (also a farmer) had to switch from the state employee plan to private insurance. However, since she had eye surgery less than six months prior to switching, she was considered high risk. The issue was eventually resolved but only after she went without coverage for several months. Health insurance reform would help people like Ellen who have a pre-existing condition and need to get insurance – insurance companies can't deny people due to a pre-existing condition.

Ellen and the hundreds of others like her who are treated unfairly because of a pre-existing condition are another reason why we just can’t wait any longer for health insurance reform.

Over the next several days, we’ll continue announce new numbers, like 8, to raise awareness about why the time is now for health reform.  We’ll promote those figures here on and on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

If you’d like to help raise awareness, share this blog post with your family, friends and online networks using the ‘Share/Bookmark’ feature below.

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