Not that I need to get any more fired up than I already am these days, but this made me mad:
I’m told this kind of thing happens all the time, and I’m not discovering anything new. (Or as my friend Levana said ever so delicately, “How long have you lived in DC?”
But it doesn’t make it any less infuriating. The tip came from Jane who is going to be at the House bill markup tomorrow with Hilda Sarkisyan whose daughter died because her insurance company denied her a liver transplant until it was too late.
Remember, Wendell Potter worked for CIGNA at the time Nataline Sarkisyan died:
BILL MOYERS: You put these techniques to work, representing Cigna doing the Nataline Sarkisyan case, right?
WENDELL POTTER: That’s right.
BILL MOYERS: And that was a public relations nightmare, you called it. Right?
WENDELL POTTER: It was. It was just the most difficult. We call them high profile cases, when you have a case like that — a family or a patient goes to the news media and complains about having some coverage denied that a doctor had recommended. In this case, Nataline Sarkisyan’s doctors at UCLA had recommended that she have a liver transplant. But when the coverage request was reviewed at Cigna, the decision was made to deny it.
It was around that time, also, that the family had gone to the media, had sought out help from the California Nurses Association and some others to really bring pressure to bear on Cigna. And they were very successful in getting a lot of media attention, and nothing like I had ever seen before.
PROTESTERS: Shame on Cigna! Shame on Cigna!
WENDELL POTTER: It got everyone’s attention. Everyone was focused on that in the corporate offices.
Again, if you missed it, you can watch the full Potter interview here. That too will make you mad.