Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Those who have suffered due to health insurance companies earn the Wings of Justice

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Originally published on on September 23, 2009

Those who have suffered due to health insurance companies

A 17-year-old girl in the Chicago suburbs who lost her health insurance retroactively after being diagnosed with celiac disease. The young man in South Carolina whose health insurer rejected his policy after he tested positive for HIV.

These two stories from last week are a drop in the sea of those who have suffered at the hands of health insurance companies.

You pay your premiums, you answer questions truthfully to the best of your knowledge on the forms, even if you need a lawyer to figure them out. You have the “audacity” to get sick, and then your insurance company isn’t there for you when you need them.

Then, when you should be concentrating on getting better and regaining strength, you and your loved ones have to expend energy fighting the insurance companies.

You end up with thousands of dollars in debt, often ending up losing life savings, declaring bankruptcy, or both, and you’re branded as a “health risk,” so getting insurance on your own is difficult or impossible.

As sad as this can be, there is a worse scenario:

“A new Harvard study released last week found that an estimated 45,000 deaths each year are associated with a lack of health insurance coverage — a finding that is likely to bolster the case for health insurance reform currently being debated in Congress this fall.”

Trisha Urban lives in Berks County, PA. Urban lost her husband the same day that their first child was born. Urban explains that the couple lost coverage and his heart condition was deemed a pre-existing condition not eligible for private coverage.

The health insurance companies count on those people giving up or not fighting back. The pressure from the health insurance companies can be intense, especially at a difficult time.

Those who do fight back and win, such as the South Carolina HIV case, give inspiration to others to speak up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to change the views of the health insurance companies.

But patients who suffer as a direct result of the cruelty of health insurance companies — and there are a lot of you out there — are making a sacrifice. The stories that President Barack Obama and other like-minded politicians tell come from these cases of personal heartache. Hopefully, their efforts, after hearing those stories, will guide the health care system toward real reform with at least a strong public option.

Those who fight back, and those who are unable to speak up — both groups exhibit great displays of bravery for putting up with the #37 ranked health care system in the world, even though we’re #1 in in total health costs as a percentage of gross domestic product.

None of these people asked to be part of this world, and they would likely do anything to change it, especially establish a single-payer system. But these people should be rewarded beyond the potential for true health care reform. So we give thanks to the sacrifice of those who have suffered due to health insurance companies by awarding this week’s Wings of Justice award in their honor.


Written by democracysoup

September 23, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in health care reform

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