Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Important Than Usual

Here's what I gotta say about the health insurance debate. A public option is necessary. For-profit companies are already making decisions about who gets to live and die and how. My personal example does not deal with me, but with my friend Stacy. Stacy had Hodgkins, a lymphatic cancer. She was treated in conventional ways, via chemo and radiation. The time then came when her doctor decided that her best course of treatment would be a bone-marrow transplant. Her health insurance, however, denied coverage for the procedure, saying it was experimental.

You can read about her struggle with the insurance here and here. Fortunately, Stacy had the option to get married and go onto her husband's insurance, which covered the treatment. What I like best (and that's sarcasm there) is that her health insurance company told her that it was her choice to proceed with the treatment or not. As she so aptly put it, "To LIVE or DIE?"

I have no doubt that Stacy's story is not the only one like this. When I had my own cancer scare last year, one of the things I thought about was "Oh shit, I'm going to have to work at this job forever." The fact that this happens here, in America, is wrong and unacceptable.

Stacy eventually did have her bone marrow transplant, though the side effects eventually got her, too young and too soon. You can help people who have cancer in the Pittsburgh area by buying a print of Stacy's art.

1 comment:

jen said...

These sorts of stories are so infuriating, and totally forgotten in the current 'debate' which is so often portrayed as shrill screaming. Thanks for sharing.