By David Griffiths
On July 2nd, Bill Peace became the second nationally known disability rights advocate/activist to die this year after being denied coverage for necessary treatment by United Healthcare. The first was Carrie Ann Lucas, who died in February. These are but two clear examples of how dangerously flawed our health care system is. We know the names of these two victims, because we knew their names in life, but “death by denial” is a much bigger problem, involving more than just one insurance company. However, we can use the names of these two people, and of the company that killed them, to bring attention to the issue, to bring reform to our health care system, and to bring justice to the as yet unknown number of innocent victims who have suffered and died in the name of corporate profits.
One step we can take in this direction is to talk to some of the beneficiaries of those corporate profits, specifically our elected officials who have received donations from United Healthcare. First, we can ask them to return money they’ve already received, and to refuse further donations, at least from United Healthcare, if not from the health insurance industry entirely. We can also ask them to call for investigations, beginning with United, to determine the extent of “death by denial”. Of course, we must also continue to fight for a more just and equitable health care system, in the form of National Improved Medicare For All.
Here are some names to start with. I’ll post a more complete list soon.
Jaime Herrera Beutler