Nataline Sarkisyan, 17, died this week, and her premature demise was assured by Cigna, who refused (until hours before her death) to approve the liver transplant ordered by her doctors.
Nataline had leukemia, and was suffering from complications from a bone marrow transplant earlier this year. Her family's insurance coverage specifically included liver transplants, but Cigna was doing what insurers in this country frequently do to increase their profits: refuse the initial request (and the second, like in this case), and hope the patient dies before they have to pay.
See, as many of us have been saying, this issue is not about poor, “shiftless, lazy,” folks without insurance who want to sponge off the hardworking white middle class. Nataline's family had insurance coverage — very good insurance coverage, it would appear. Yet they could not get the treatment prescribed by doctors, and clearly needed on a timely basis.
This case similar to many, many others, sad to say, including some that were mentioned in Michael Moore's film, Sicko. But it may end up being the last straw, because it has caught the attention of bloggers (with titles like “Cigna kills Nataline Sarkisyan”), Moore himself is front-paging the story on his site (“Murder”), and then TV news picked up on it, and now those videos, and many homemade productions, are going viral.
Cigna's name is becoming mud, and deservedly so.
The American people are reaching their breaking point on health care, and I just hope this election cycle is finally the one when the people force their “leaders” to get it bloody done — and done right.
John Edwards' take-no-prisoners response (via CBS)
Nataline's brothers YouTube video, made prior to her death.
Michael Moore's statement – like many, he is calling for an investigation and criminal charges if warranted.
Daily Kos – videos of some MSM coverage and comments showing the outrage and determination for radical change
News stories about Nataline (Google)