Last night, I watched Boston Med, ABC’s new medical reality docu/drama. I thought it was excellent … and disturbing. One of the stories told was that of Marvin Pollet, a 55-year old man from Louisiana. He suffered from amloidosis, a protein disorder that can attack vital organs. If the heart comes under attack, cardiac failure can occur. And so it did, in Marvin. His cardiologist at Mass Gen was Dr. Kimberly Parks. Apparently, Marvin was scheduled to see Dr. Parks three weeks earlier but an alleged insurance snafu delayed his visit. He desperately needed a heart transplant, but he had to get to Mass Gen to be evaluated in order to be put on the transplant list. He lost three weeks, his health deteriorated rapidly, and despite Dr. Park’s determination to save his life, he went into cardiac failure and died before a donor could be found.
What I find so disturbing is the insurance link in his tale. There are too many Marvin stories in this country. People who pay for health care only to find that if they become very ill, it’s a “too bad, so sad” situation. Insurance declined. Insurance Company says, “No”. The ridiculous maze of hoops we must jump through, just to get a portion of health care we pay dearly for, could also be cause for cardiac arrest. If you are very wealthy, a public figure, or a celebrity, well, you’re golden. For the rest of us, unless we hit a goldmine, the pot at the end of our rainbow reads, RIP, Insurance was Declined.
Who sits on these health insurance death squad committees? You know, the statistics gang who will decide whether you and I live or die someday? Any day? Is this a vaunted position? What are your credentials, seriously? Is it easy to sentence people to death because they are just names on paper? How does it feel to bankrupt Average Joe? Now he sits in his house that has been foreclosed on because his medical bills took him to the bank and closed his account. Do you get paid big bucks to let people die? How does it feel to know that you have, in your special way, contributed to the ruination/end of an untold number of lives? Every Single Day. Sleep well? Hope not. Just sayin’…