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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Cue the hue and cry over exploiting a tragedy for political gain
Posted by Jill | 9:43 AM
You know it's coming. But pointing out the damage to very real people that is being done by health insurance companies isn't exploitation, it's underscoring the facts.

I don't expect the family of Nataline Sarkisyan to go stumping for John Edwards, but their plight has served to underscore Edwards' point that you cannot "negotiate" with companies that will allow a seventeen-year-old to die rather than pay for a procedure that could save her life:

John Edwards tonight cited the case of a 17-year-old California girl who died after her insurance company refused coverage on a liver transplant to save her life as a call to action to change the current system of healthcare in America.

Nataline Sarkysian died last night at UCLA Medical Center after complications arose from a bone marrow transplant to treat her leukemia. Her insurance provider, CIGNA Healthcare, first denied the potentially lifesaving transplant, but relented after a loud public protest and outrage. By that time, though, Sarkysian passed away before the procedure could be performed.

"Are you telling me that we're gonna sit at a table and negotiate with those people?" asked a visibly angered Edwards, challenging the health care companies. "We're gonna take their power away and we're not gonna have this kind of problem again."

Edwards also told the audience of about a hundred people at the Score Pavillion in Nevada, Iowa, that it will take a fighter (i.e. him) - and not a negotiator (ii.e. Obama) - to take on large insurance companies like CIGNA.

"Anybody who thinks that we don't have a fight in front of us is living in Never-Never Land," he said.

The Sarkisyans are going to sue CIGNA, as well they should. It's too bad Mark Geragos is their attorney, because my impression of him is that he's more interested in the cameras than in his clients. Because if there were ever a case that was made for John Edwards, it's this one.

UPDATE: Richard Blair weighs in at All Spin Zone.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Please remember that Mark Geragos volunteered to defend Susan McDougal against Kenny Starr and his band of thugs when nobody else would. And he won.

Brenda Helverson (damned blogger won't let me log in)