Ed Grandi, executive director for the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), and his association are calling for action from sleep apnea sufferers, their families, and health care professionals to ensure the inclusion of sleep medicine isn’t overlooked in the furor to reform the US health care system. Grandi sent an open letter to President Obama and Members of Congress to raise awareness of sleep apnea, its ties to numerous health problems, and the cost the US health care system can expect if sleep apnea is not considered through its reformation.

“I did this to get sleep apnea on the health care agenda,” says Grandi. “What we are doing at our little legislative action center is encouraging people to raise awareness in Congress about sleep apnea and what the costs are for not treating it. While in fact, it is easily diagnosed and it is easily treated.”

Because of the large number of competing fields clamoring for a piece of the health care reform pie, Grandi says for sleep medicine to get recognition—the more letters sent, the better.

“There are always a lot of competing interests and the only way you get attention is by getting out there and tooting your horn,” says Grandi. “The fact is that there are millions of people out there who have sleep apnea and don’t have insurance and end up in emergency rooms and are costing us a ton of money. If we got them a sleep test and a CPAP and helped them stay compliant: the money that we would save! We would save tons of money!”

“I want as many people [to write a letter] as it takes for them to call me up and say, ‘Grandi get your behind down here. You’ve got to explain to us about sleep apnea.’ I would be happy to go to the White House and talk to the President of the United States about sleep apnea. I would have no problem doing that, and I’d do a really good job, too.”

To send a personalized version of the open letter to your representatives and the President, visit the [removed]ASAA Web site[/removed].

Read Grandi’s full letter here.