KEY TAKEAWAY: The top six health insurance CEO’s earn almost $160 million in salaries while they continue to dictate who will get the treatments they need and who will suffer or die. This is a prime example of why for profit healthcare may never work here in the U.S..
A kidney cancer patient is told that the only way he could stay alive is with a bone marrow procedure which his insurer denies because they say it’s an “experimental procedure” Three weeks later he is dead leaving a wife an baby girl.
Poor insurance coverage is causing cancer patients to miss out on cutting-edge technologies that use gene analysis to determine the best treatments. Peter Pitts went as far as to say “companies are covering the old-fashioned, less-effective chemotherapy regimens rather than more sophisticated approaches and prescription benefit managers are opting not to reimburse the more innovative, expensive treatments. Instead, they are negotiating rebates with pharmaceutical companies that they pocket, rather than passing the savings along to the patient”.
“It’s time for insurance companies and prescription benefit managers to step up and do the right thing by putting patients first,” Pitts said. “When they choose not to reimburse for a product because it doesn’t earn them enough money, even though it could save a patient’s life, I think it’s despicable.”
Welcome to healthcare in the 21st century.
Insurers make money by denying coverage “they feel” is experimental. Rather than invest in services that could help patients live a better quality of life they it’s all about investors. While drug companies come under fire for high drug prices insurers negotiate lower prices while charging customers full price. Make no mistake about it, this is THE biggest threat to our health care.
I’m not sure how anyone could sleep at night while they collect tens of millions of dollars and patients suffer, but then again, I never though a serial liar and women abuser could run for President. It’s only a matter of time before the voices of patients are heard by Congress and the media putting more pressure on insurers and moving us forward toward a single payer system.