Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The best healthcare in the world

This nauseating affront to basic human decency is brought to you by the free-market, for-profit healthcare system.

Kyler Van Nocker’s story shows that even 5-year-old kids are not exempt from this insurance company abuse. Van Nocker has neuroblastoma, which is a very rare form of childhood cancer that targets the nervous system and creates tumors throughout the body.

Due to successful treatment in 2007, Van Nocker’s cancer went into remission, giving him 12 months of pain-free life. Unfortunately, in Sept. 2008, the cancer returned, and Van Nocker was once again in need of treatment. Unfortunately, his health insurer, HealthAmerica, refused to pay for one form of treatment doctors believe could save his life (MIBG treatment) because they consider it “investigational/experimental” since it has yet to be approved by the FDA.

Yet in April 2008, the insurer approved cheaper treatment for Van Nocker that was also “experimental,” prompting Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky to ask, “So why, pray tell, is HealthAmerica playing the ‘experimental therapy’ card in the case of the MIBG treatment Kyler now needs? Gee, money couldn’t have anything to do with the decision, could it?”
And remember: this child has health insurance. But in 21st century America, there is little difference between having and needing to use health insurance and having no coverage at all.

I have a feeling the revolution just got moved up a day, and that Kyler Van Nocker’s family and friends have just been "radicalized."

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