Friday, December 28, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] What the...?!?!

At what point do we just start shooting insurance executives on sight? I'm willing to turn a blind eye should someone just gun these greedy, corrupt bastards down for the pestilent little vermin they are...
Yorktown girl can eat only one thing: costly formula that insurance won't cover
(Original publication: December 28, 2007)

YORKTOWN รข€” Three-year-old Hannah Devane is allergic to food. Not the kind that makes kids spit out their broccoli; the kind that can kill.

The Yorktown preschooler has a condition called eosinophilic esophagitis, a severe food allergy that causes a type of white blood cell to congregate in the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach, damaging the tissue when she eats.

A doctor-prescribed formula has allowed Hannah to grow to a robust 40 pounds, a normal weight for a child her age. Without it, Hannah could wind up with a feeding tube.

But the insurance program that covers her family through her father's job as a New York City police lieutenant has stopped paying for the formula, which costs $1,200 a month. Food supplements and other over-the-counter items are not covered under the family's insurance, the prescription plan administrator said.

Arriving home hungry from day care, the blond, curly haired Hannah stretches out on the sofa with a bottle of formula.

"Our daughter has a disorder where she needs the formula to live," said Jessie Devane, 37, a registered nurse. "There is tissue damage if it is not treated. The treatment is no food. The insurance company won't even listen to Hannah's doctor."

(Full story)

That's pretty disgusting, eh? I mean, even if you are covered, well, you're not.

This is not health care. This isn't insurance coverage. This is flat-out, cold-hearted extortion by both the drug company who makes the formula this girl needs to live and the insurance provider who is refusing coverage, and no American should fall victim to this sort of bullshit. And what's the Insurance provider's excuse?

The family had been getting coverage for Elecare because of an error, said Helen Sweeny, the administrator of the self-insured medical benefits fund run by the Superior Officers Council.

"The program would be broke if we tried to cover food," said Sweeny, who has run the program for 32 years.

Food... They call it food.

They act as if she's asking for gum drops and potato chips.

It's okay for them to cover a medication that someone takes five or six times a day, but, by labeling this medication as "food," suddenly they can deny this dying girl access so as to skip out on paying for it.

Forgive me Helen Sweeny, but I truly hope an out of control dump truck finds its way onto your empty head, you insufferable, unconscionable twit. Or, better yet, I hope you find yourself in a situation where you need something to save your life, and if you have the gall to shed a tear when someone denies you access, please remember those things you've told people to justify your company's insatiable greed.

Seriously. They call it food.

I suppose that makes Insulin nothing more than sugar-water.

It's fucking astounding how horribly inhuman some human beings truly are.

Don't worry Helen Sweeny. Soon this little girl will be dead, and you won't have to explain how you pretty much murdered her by denying her access to medication which would have saved her life. Don't let that trouble that under-used puddle of sludge between your ears. Just, you know, try not to eat too much over the course of the holidays.


Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 12/28/2007 06:18:00 PM


  1. I don't know how they sleep at night or then deal with family & neighbors who know they deny this! See this is when I do believe/hope there is a God that then will let her know how her heart is cold! She is a GRINCH/SCROOGE that is for sure! Now, in the meantime...isn't there any other service that may pay for this? If it is classified as food then I wonder if this could come under some organization for Disabled or her condition etc. Maybe some social service? And to think her father puts his life on the line for so many every day. Ya, what if Ms. Sweeny needed her life saved by him?

  2. The thing is , this is a child. She hasn't even reached the age of adulthood were she could possibly hoodwink the damn agency that is refusing her........Some days it seems that life is definitely off balance and it isn't tilting anywhere close to being in our favor. (Hugs) Indigo

    By the way did you ever get it straightened out so you could get the prescription you needed? (Hugs) Indy

  3. Dan, have you heard about the teenager, I think, in California who died awaiting a transplant. It was being held up by her medical insurance carrier and they were fighting it. They gave the OK just a few hours before she died. The family is suing as the rightfully should.
    I was in Healthcare for 25 years as a CFO in hospitals. I was very familiar with the insurers and the programs. When Medicare came along with their DRG program we all said people were going to die as a result of the restraints and sure enough some have.
    The pendulum has to swing the other way soon. Bill

  4. Hey Bill,

    Yeah, I wrote about the girl awaiting the transplant (or at least linked to it somewhere) I believe last week sometime.  At that time, I said that things in this country are going to have to become much, much worse before any steps are taken to get better.  And, unfortunately, a lot of people, like myself and countless others, will either die or descend into lives of crippling pain and disability as a result of this greedy, apathetic system.  

    Anyway, I'm going to write an update as to my own situation to answer Indigo's question.  I'll try to get to it tonight, but I can't make any promises.  

    I will say though, it's unbelievably frustrating being trapped in this system with a chronic, and, as yet, non-life-threatening illness.  I've never before been subjected to so much stress and a roller-coaster of near manic emotional highs and lows as medications which provide a "cure" for my malady are prescribed only to find that they are denied.  It is, in a word, torture.  


  5. For those who havce not yet seen "Sicko", movie by Michael Moore, I have only one suggestion. Run, do not walk, to your closest video store.

  6. And America is called the land of the free? Um.......... We, live in the Land of the free. Our health care is free along with most of the 'civilised' world.