Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Real "Death Panel" HMOs Killed The Real "Norma Rae"

It's sad enough that feminist and labor activist Crystal Lee Sutton has just passed away. But now, it's even sadder to learn why she's gone.

Crystal Lee Jordan, the union activist from North Carolina that inspired Sally Field’s Oscar winning performance in Norma Rae, died on Friday because her health insurance company delayed her cancer treatment. Sutton was diagnosed with meningioma but waited two months to begin taking needed medication because her health insurance refused to cover it. While they debated about whether or not the medicine was included in her policy, the cancer spread through her nervous system making the medicine ultimately ineffective. Sutton herself openly criticized the U.S. health care system as an abuse of the power and potentially murderous for the working class. Her criticism got her insurance company to ultimately approve the medicine she needed, too late.

Ultimately, Sutton herself described best what this amounts to:

"How in the world can it take so long to find out [whether they would cover the medicine or not] when it could be a matter of life or death," she said. "It is almost like, in a way, committing murder."

So you want to know where those fabled "death panels" are, Sarah Palin? They're already working in the insurance companies! They just murdered the real life Norma Rae, and they're out to kill all of us who don't sufficiently expand their "profit margin".

This just confirms why we need real change in this health care system. If there were enough folks in Washington with any kind of courage, we'd be talking about a Medicare for All single-payer plan. It's so sad that the Republicans and the ConservaDems, both bought and paid for by the HMOs and Big Pharma, don't even want us to be able to choose a Medicare-like public option for ourselves!

Oh yes, because supposedly the current for-profit system is working so well... Just ask Crystal Lee Sutton's family who it's working out for them.

1 comment:

  1. Your healthcare works as long as you don't need it. The true test, as Crystal found out, is when you become very ill. Then you find out that there's some loophole you overlooked in the small print or the treatment that your doctor prescribes is deemed "experimental" by some insurance company executive. This is murder and many Americans are committing it against each other by their depraved indifference. I've got a great policy but I don't care about the uninsured or under insured until it happens to them.