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| Paulson & Nace

While not a typical automobile post, I’d like to draw your attention to this weeks story about a health insurer who denied a liver transpant to a young insured girl. It seems that liver transplants, to the health insurer, is still considered an “experimental” procedure, so they denied coverage for the procedure.

The young girls family hired a well known TV lawyer to get some media coverage. They call legislators, held press conferences, wrote letters, did the whole “blogosphere” routine. Put some heat on the health insurer, and see if you can move them.

It worked, the carrier changed their position, a few hours before the young girl died. I believe there is a song about this: “Isn’t it Ironic.”

Now there are calls for criminal charges against the health insurer, civil suits for negligence against the health insurer, and so on. But let’s look at why this girl died: MONEY.

The procedure costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Who gets that money? Doctors, for profit hospitals, pharmacutical manufacturers (for the crazy priced anti-rejection drugs) and so on. NONE of these people (I include the doctors here) woudl help this girl, unless there was money in it for them. Think about that for a bit, no one would help her unless the health insurance company (or the girl herself, or her family) coughed up the dough. While we look for money, the girl dies.

Also look at the health insurer. The call now is for a criminal complaint to be filed against the health insurer. A corporation. Corporations cannot go to jail. But there are PEOPLE at the health insurance company who delayed this girl’s treatment. If these people knew they would cause this girl’s death by delaying her treatment, is that manslaughter. I doubt any district attorney would touch that case. It is morally reprehensible, but probably not a “crime” as such.

I feel badly for the family that lost their beloved daughter. She was killed by our capitalistic, money-grubbing health care system that feeds on insurance company pay-outs and the wages of the poor. The outrage leveled at the health insurer, while deserved, is misplaced. No one is going to cure any disease in America for free.

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