When I say that the insurance system in America needs a complete overhaul, many of you are going to immediately assume that i’m about to rant about my leftist political agenda. Well, you’re wrong. There is nothing political here. Only inhumane.
My dad, a struggling sufferer of cancer, has been close to life’s end time and time again over the past two years, but each time he’s battled back to health.
It’s been a really interesting, miraculous and inspiring thing to witness from an outsiders point of view, but also an incredibly tiring one. Honestly, I have no clue how my mother has kept as strong as she has and she deserves a Nobel Prize for the courage she displays daily. She’s, to put it simply, heroic.
Today, it’s not cancer that’s trying to kill my dad. It’s an insurance company. We’ve had some issues with the insurance company in the past, but never to the extent that it reached today. In June 2010, insurance denied his treatment at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. This was the first of many denials including treatments while he was in the Emergency Room in January.
Life at stake? Leave your insurance card at home.
But here’s where I draw the line. Simply put, MD Anderson in Houston found what they thought would be a great treatment for my dad’s cancer. They set everything up, scheduled his preliminary appointments and got him ready to fly down to Houston.
Upon arriving in Houston, the Insurance bomb dropped…again. "Your insurance plan will not cover our treatment." Making the matters worse, it’s a chemotherapy mixture that he’s already received on this insurance plan! The logic seems to be disappearing here and as a result, my father, Robin M. Black, is stuck in treatment limbo, once again.
Simply put, when doctors believed they could cure my dad, an insurance company believed they shouldn’t.
The man worked three jobs when I was a kid. He volunteered to coach my sports teams. He took me to doctors appointments. Simply put, he did his job as a father. THAT is why this is so absurd. He simply doesn’t deserve it.
I have to ask myself- What is an insurance company’s job in the first place? Is it consistently denying treatment to individuals based on an algorithm of someone’s “Worth”? Is it distributing little cards with information on it that ends up doing nothing? Or, is it to assist in providing legitimate healthcare to individuals in need?
It certainly doesn’t appear to be the focus of these companies to actually provide any care whatsoever. In fact, it seems more and more like an appeal process of a death penalty inmate. The main difference being that my dad didn’t ask for any of this with his past decisions.
I won’t exceed my dirty word quota by saying that the insurance industry is going to hell. They’ve clearly done enough dirty work to prove that they already reside there.
So here’s my simple manifesto:
I’ve had it with companies pretending to play God. Determining whether someone is worth rescuing. Deeming one fit for salvation.
You WILL NOT defeat me. You CANNOT defeat us. You will not be the reason that my dad or any other individual succumbs to a disease. You WILL do your job if it’s the last thing I accomplish in life.
Heath W. Black, concerned son, citizen, American
P.S. If you’d like to write a letter to the insurance company mentioned in this post, feel free to contact me and I will get you in touch with a representative. I will not sit aside and be frustrated. I will not passively disagree. I will protest with my thoughts, my words, my voice and my relationships and in that I will win.