Monday, June 09, 2008

That Ain't Right

I'm a week late on this, but you should be outraged nonetheless. From the New York Times:
When the Golden Rule Insurance Company rejected her application for health coverage last year, Peggy Robertson was mystified.

“It made no sense,” said Ms. Robertson, 39, who lives in Centennial, Colo. “I’m in perfect health.”

She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified.

When it comes to improving healthcare, I'm not picky. If you have an idea for government-provided healthcare, I'll listen. If you have an idea for making private plans more affordable and available, I'll listen. But I won't accept a healthcare system where a woman can be denied coverage for having had a C-section. (More broadly, I won't accept a system in which for-profit companies make life-altering decisions about whom and what procedures to cover.) The C-section issue is particularly upsetting because of the disturbingly large number of unnecessary Caesarians that doctors perform. (C-sections are more profitable to doctors and hospitals than natural births.)


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