Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The contents of my letter to my government officials Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, Keith Ellison as well as Myriad Genetics.

(This post has been updated to include Rep. Ellison's response.)

Hello Folks, 

 I am writing to you today as a breast cancer survivor who is fed up with being an insurance pariah. Myriad Genetics owns the rights to the BRCA gene test and charges $4000 when it should only cost $100-200 to find out if you carry the breast cancer gene. No, I did not have to pay out of pocket, my insurance covered my test. But as you all know these types of inflated costs are passed on to the rest of the public. It also one of the reasons why it is so hard for me to get affordable insurance now. Myriad, you have a monopoly, and are abusing it. I ask that you lower the cost and I am asking my representatives to look into this matter, not just for me but for other breast cancer survivors and the insurance paying public as a whole. 

 Thanks to all, 

Michele Harris

June 26, 2013

Dear Michele,

Thank you for contacting me about monopolies.  I am honored to hear from you and proud to represent you.  Since coming to Congress, I have been working very hard to advance my policy agenda based on four key priorities – peace, prosperity for working families, environmental sustainability, and support for human and civil rights.

A healthy market relies heavily on competition to keep prices down.  Competing companies within a market are forced to lower prices to entice individuals to buy their products.  When a market lacks adequate competition, prices increase and the customer is stuck paying high prices for goods that should be much cheaper.

Unfortunately, sometimes markets do not perform as they are intended.  Large companies can sometimes leverage their resources to undermine market competition.  At times, this can lead to monopolies or monopolistic practices, driving up costs for consumers and weakening innovation and the development of new products.

I support regulations that restrict monopolistic practices.  In order to keep our economy strong and at the cutting edge of development, reasonable regulations can ensure that sufficient competition exists for innovation, small businesses, and development to thrive.

Thank you again for contacting me.  Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding this or any other matter of concern.  You can sign up for our e-newsletter by visiting .

Sincerely yours,

Keith Ellison
United States House of Representatives