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Insurance companies have been in the spotlight recently, particularly with President Obama’s proposals to reshape the health care industry. Millions of Americans are without health insurance, and access to quality care seems to be more and more elusive. As employees are losing their jobs, they are also losing employer-provided health benefits, assuming they had them to begin with. Even individuals with insurance are being pushed beyond the limits of their finances. I believe it is fair to say that America is in the middle of an insurance crisis.

Newspapers are replete with headlines describing some of the most flagrant abuses by insurance companies. In addition to denying benefits that should be paid, insurance companies have been accused of committing staggering amounts of fraud and waste. Despite this, insurance reform has yet to take hold.

Insurers steadfastly continue to oppose any attempt at insurance reform. Meanwhile, individual claimants continue to suffer as they wait for benefits that may never come. These people are truly victims of the insurance industry. Already injured or sick, they are forced to make do without much-needed services or to pay for them out of their own pockets. They can be forgiven for wondering what their premium payments have been used for if not to pay for the benefits they eventually seek.

Now is the time for insurance reform. You have an opportunity to take part in this process. Contact your Senators and Representative and tell them you want insurance companies to be held accountable for the benefits they have promised to provide.

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