I stumbled across this article and the only word I have to describe how I felt after reading it is stunned. I wish I could say that I was shocked or appalled or angry, but I wasn’t I was simply stunned. The anger came later, not much later mind you, but it was not my first reaction.
Denying health insurance to a four month old because he is too fat? Seriously? This is just ridiculous. Sure, he’s chubby, but you know what, it’s not like he has a lot of chances for exercise, and it’s not like he’s pounding happy meals and big gulps. He’s a freaking baby. He feeds off of his mother’s breast milk, sleeps and shits. That’s what babies do. And they gain weight. This is an infant we are talking about here, not someone who can make their own decisions as to what they should or should not eat. He can’t just decide to run over to the gym and work off those extra pounds. Hell, he can’t even walk yet.
This whole business of pre-existing conditions is out of control. People who have these conditions are most likely to be the ones to need to visit doctors. They are the ones who need the most help, and yet they are denied that help because of the very condition they need help with. Sure, sometimes they can still get insurance, but it is generally much more expensive, and it does not always cover what needs to be covered. Also, it is not necessarily someone’s fault if they have a pre-existing condition. For example: I have a heart murmur. I was born with it; it is not something that stems from my mistreatment of my body. It is a small one and not a serious health concern, but I have one. I wonder if I would be denied health insurance because of it. I don’t know, and I hope that I never have to find out because right now I live in a country where health care is provided to all residents and people legally working here (I belong to the latter group), and I hope that by the time I return to the U.S. and start looking into health insurance that this whole business of denying care because of pre-existing conditions will be nothing more than a bad memory.
The other thing that gets me about this article and this whole pre-existing thins is the rationale for why this particular insurance company denies coverage to those with these health concerns:
“If health care reform occurs, underwriting will go away. We do it because everybody else in the industry does it,” said Dr. Doug Speedie, medical director at Rocky Mountain Health Plans, the company that turned down Alex.
That’s right, he actually said that they deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions because everybody else does it. How ludicrous is that? Is he a five year old? It makes no sense, and it results in people not getting the coverage and help they need, which of course could result in their pain and death. The man is a doctor for crying out loud (though I wonder if he is a medical doctor, or a doctor in the sense that he has his PhD), how can he be so callous, cruel, and stupid. To him I say he better hope that all the other companies don’t start jumping off bridges because, well, you know….