Speaking of Death Panels

This is a 2-year-old story, but it bears re-telling because if this girl had been Canadian, she’d be alive today:

A 17-year old died just hours after her health insurance company reversed its decision not to pay for a liver transplant that doctors said the girl needed.  […]

Nataline had been battling leukemia and received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. She developed a complication, however, that caused her liver to fail.

Doctors at UCLA determined she needed a transplant and sent a letter to CIGNA Healthcare on Dec. 11. The Philadelphia-based health insurance company denied payment for the transplant.

This is what blows my mind about American-style healthcare:  insurance company bureaucrats are so involved with, and often obstructing, decisions that should be between a doctor and patient and nobody else.  In Canada, if your doctor says you need some kind of treatment, be it surgery, radiation, or a transplant, you get it.   It’s that simple.   Nobody questions the doctor’s decision.  Nobody gets between the doctor and the patient and argues about money. Most importantly, nobody impedes the treatment process.

In the States right now, one of the most widespread arguments against universal healthcare is that “no bureaucrats should get between patients and doctors”.  Ironically, going by our experience in Canada, that’s the best argument for universal healthcare.

4 Responses to “Speaking of Death Panels”


  1. 1 Bina Friday, September 4, 2009 at 6:08 am

    What really kills me is that this is what’s referred to as “healthcare choice”. None of the teabagging idiots who subscribe to it realize that it’s insurance bureaucrats who do the choosing, NOT the patient!

  2. 2 Cornelius T.Zen Friday, September 4, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Good morrow, all!
    And this is the system that the loud voices of the nutbar right claim is the “best system in the world!”
    Actually, WHO (the World Health Organization, associated with those Communist shills, the United Nations) ranks the US at 37th in the world, behind Canada at 30th.
    The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
    We are running out of hydrogen — CTZen

  3. 3 JJ Friday, September 4, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Bina – It’s pretty amazing how willingly people turn against their own interests just because they don’t like the President (Stockholm Syndrome?).

    The sad thing is, if the public option fails and things remain as is, some of these same people will eventually find out first hand how ugly the private insurance companies can be. I wonder if they’ll remember, when their claim is rejected and they have to sell their houses to stay alive, how fervently they fought against the public option that could have saved them (and their houses)?

  4. 4 JJ Friday, September 4, 2009 at 10:38 am

    CTZen –

    And this is the system that the loud voices of the nutbar right claim is the “best system in the world!”

    It’s an easy sell because there’s a small element of truth to it. If you’re rich and can afford a top-drawer insurance policy, it might well be the best system in the world. But for 95% of the population, that’s not the way it is. And a “system” that only works well for 5% of the population is not a system at all, it’s a rigged game.


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