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Death panels? We already have them

Submitted by on Sunday, 13 September 2009 No Comment

A good friend’s husband retired a few years back, but they made sure they had continuing health coverage, to the tune of $1,400 a month – that’s actually not a bad deal these days.

For all the good it did them. This winter, when her husband’s doctor recommended heart surgery, the company wouldn’t cover it. They paid out of pocket – really, there’s no other choice in such a situation.

The insurance company still won’t cover his medication, which I’m sure makes sense from the bean-counter perspective. Why cover medicine for a problem not serious enough for surgery?

Another woman, a fellow blogger, had to have a biopsy last week for a lump in her breast. The tech had trouble locating the mass through an ultrasound, and she and the doctor agreed that an MRI would help them get a better view.

Medi-Cal disagreed, saying an MRI wasn’t necessary.

Sara Palin’s “death panels? Dare I say it – we already have them.

Except they’re not a committee in a smoke-filled room. They ‘re people who work for profit-driven insurance companies, and every day they’re making what could be life or death decisions to deny one man heart surgery and one woman an MRI.

They’re overruling my son’s doctor and deciding which asthma medications really work for him. I’ve fought that battle with four different companies – the funniest was the company that insisted we purchase a generic medication that had been pulled from the market months earlier.

At least they finally admitted he has a problem. He at first was denied in-home medical equipment because the doctor put the correct diagnosis on his record. Babies have “restrictive air disease,” not asthma, because they’re too young to take asthma tests, and that’s what the doctor listed.

Sorry, said the insurance company. We don’t cover equipment for restrictive air disease. Big Guy’s doctor was ready to reach through the phone and strangle someone.

The doctor won that battle. For many Americans every day, though, the outcome is different.

And Palin’s concerned that under President Obama’s plan unelected officials will have the power to ration health care?

Lady, we’ve been there for  years.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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