It's not all about me

Today was a very valuable lesson in "It's not all about me."  (It's not even all about Lorelei.)

Yesterday and today have blurred into one big 24 hour social media storm. It started with a phone call from our insurance company (Blue Cross Blue Shield) informing us they had denied Lorelei's transplant. I was furious. I turned to social media in my outrage and it caught on. The hashtag #ApproveLorelei became so popular within a few hours that it out-trended the Thunder vs. Lakers game in Oklahoma.

Social media is powerful.

Possibly related to that twitter storm, Blue Cross Blue Shield reversed their denial today. (Not before we had already canceled all travel plans, but I'll take it.)

But the reversal of their denial did not happen before every news station in the state had contacted us. Lorelei did nine media interviews today. Many of them happened after we received mid-day hope that Blue Cross Blue Shield would have a change of heart. We pressed on.

The fact is this. BCBS is not the only insurance company putting profits before people. (Certainly, they are one of the worst.) It brings up a bigger issue. When did we become a country where businesspeople make life and death medical decisions for patients?

During this storm we have become aware of others who have had to fight their insurance companies in addition to their cancers. What if the unpublished plan all along is for insurance companies to DENY FIRST? (It seems that's what they did.) Why not? If you sit on a request for pre-authorization for a medical procedure for the maximum time allowed by law and then respond with a pat denial, you've kept money in the bank for an extra month. Then, if you wait until the shocked patient files an official appeal, you've likely sat on that money a few more weeks.  Heck. You might be able to drag the process out long enough for the patient to die before you have to approve the procedure. That's very beneficial for the bottom line.

Yes, I sound bitter here. I am. (I'm talking with God about that, but even Jesus overturned a few tables.) Somebody needs to talk about this. There are parents who are going to receive a letter in the mail this month telling them that their insurance company has refused to pay for a procedure that their child's doctor believes is medically necessary. Those parents will not sleep. They will cry and vomit and maybe even drink just to get past the initial shock and sense of helplessness. But maybe these last 24 hours (and the news stories to follow) will have brought the bigger issue to our social consciousness. Maybe someone will do something to reduce the power that businesses have to decide who lives and who dies.

Yes, we got our way. But let's think about those other parents and help them now.

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