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United HealthCare’s Death Panels; I don’t Want to Die for your Profit
An Open Letter to UHC:
United Health Care Benefits Appeal
UHC Benefits Appeal
PO Box 30573
Salt Lake City, UT 84130
RE: Patient XXXXX
Member ID: XXXXXXX
Prescription Name: Imitrex, or generic Sumatriptan Tablets
September 28, 2009
I am writing to request that your decision to no longer cover the drug amount prescribed by my doctor be reviewed. See, United is coming in between my doctor and me, instead of acting as an insurance company. And I’m curious– Is United in the habit of interfering with physicians care for their patients?
Also, too, I’m writing for all of those patients who are too sick and depressed after receiving their Death Panel Denial Form to call or write you. Yes, I know, you’ve heard it all and more importantly, ignored it all, before. But let’s pretend United cares about my health.
Are you done laughing?
This month, United decided they would only cover 3 of the 9 Imitrex and /or generic version Sumatriptan pills per month prescribed by my doctor in her infinite wisdom, as she has been doing for years. Nothing has changed in my heath to warrant any change in my medication.
For years, I’ve had United Health Care—and a sincere hat tip to the person who came up with that name; it’s almost as good as “Pro-America”, since obviously, United is not in the business of health CARE but rather, health PROFIT…which would be fine if United hadn’t sold me and many other people a “plan” meant to help us cover our “health care”.
I’m seeing a discrepancy here in the product United sells and their actual mission. It makes me think of “too big to fail” and other icky things that went poorly without regulation. But, I digress.
I have been prescribed 9 pills a month. Of my own volition, with no savings offered to me, I went on the generic as soon as it was available. Why United chose not to offer me any savings for going generic, I’ll never understand. But then, it seems “profit” is often seen a s short-term concept at United, and not a long-term, sustainable concept of good, conservative business practices. An issue for your shareholders to take up with United, should they ever care to question the Death Panels that feed them.
Back to the current episode of United’s Death Panels: I am prescribed Imitrex for migraine headaches, which are debilitating and without medication will grow worse, and can (and have for some) led to a stroke. United refuse to offer ANY alternative to Imitrex and the generic sumatriptan (medications my doctor has determined are best for me). Their answer was just “this is your new plan.” I guess “new plan” is code for “Death Panel Denial Form”.
Thus, my options are to either take the medication prescribed by my doctor or go to the ER for Emergency relief, costing thousands per trip. Since I now have only 3 pills to terminate 9 monthly migraines instead of 9, I would need to make an estimated 6 ER trips a month.
Since that seems like a waste of money, this is where you are supposed to explain to me how I don’t need to go to the ER or have medication to avoid a stroke. But perhaps your take is that if I stroke out, you save even more money?
That certainly makes sense to me, and since you are in the business to make money off of my life, I guess you’re doing the right thing, trying to kill me as earlier as possible before I get too expensive. But let’s pretend, shall we, that United is in the business of “insurance”, since that’s what you sell. I mean, I doubt “Death Panels by United” would sell quite as well.
While I have no problem with United making a profit, United shouldn’t be too surprised that the people are demanding our government protect us from you. We all want to live. I know that’s shameful, given your God-given right to make a profit on our lives, but it’s true. I want to live and I’d like to do it in as little pain as possible. I’d say “So shoot me,” as a joke, but I’m afraid you’d take me seriously.
Speakin’ of words and such, UHC’s motto on their website is “Healing Health Care. Together. Simple process, smarter solutions, better results for you.” So far, this motto is a complete oxymoron for my experience with UHC. Just sayin’.
CNN’s Money recently explored some of the healthcare issues and it seems like insurance companies were making a big stink that they wouldn’t want the government coming between our care and that they don’t interfere in our care. I think this is right around the time one of the biggies paid Sarah Palin to lie on her FaceBook page about “Death Panels” (oh, sorry, did she lie for free?). Only, of course, it wasn’t a lie; it was a misdirection:
“”[Doctors] are the most trusted source for determining the appropriateness of care,” …Chris Curran, spokesman for health insurer Cigna Corp. (CI, Fortune 500), disagrees with the idea that insurers are interfering with physicians. “First of all, insurers don’t want to come between patients and doctors in terms of recommending care,” he said. “That’s the role of the doctor, not the insurer.” maintained Deloitte’s Keckley… “
“… At the end of the day, “doctors are dispensers of care while insurers are guardians of purse strings,” explained Dr. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association. Chris Curran, spokesman for health insurer Cigna Corp. (CI, Fortune 500), disagrees with the idea that insurers are interfering with physicians.”
So, the head of a major insurance company disagrees with reality? Color me shocked! Do y’all play here every Tuesday, or just Death Panel Friday? Of course you don’t want to interfere in my care…
Except when you are directly contradicting my doctor’s orders for my health, on the basis of what UHC was willing to pay for, rather than what was best for my health.
Perhaps our differences lay in interpretation of language. Insurance definition, courtesy of investor words:
“A promise of compensation for specific potential future losses in exchange for a periodic payment. Insurance is designed to protect the financial well-being of an individual, company or other entity in the case of unexpected loss. Some forms of insurance are required by law, while others are optional. Agreeing to the terms of an insurance policy creates a contract between the insured and the insurer. In exchange for payments from the insured (called premiums), the insurer agrees to pay the policy holder a sum of money upon the occurrence of a specific event. In most cases, the policy holder pays part of the loss (called the deductible), and the insurer pays the rest. Examples include car insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, and business insurance.”
Hmmm…But United is driving me to bankruptcy…so surely, you are not selling insurance, because I’m supposed to be protected financially if I pay my premiums, which I have for years and years. So, what exactly would you say you are selling?
Would you say it’s some sort of reverse medical assistance, which causes the buyer to become more ill by meddling in qualified medical professional’s ability to care for their patients?
Just as an aside for those contemplating how they can better screw the American middle class, the pharmaceutical companies are neck in neck with the insurance companies; I found my medication in England for around 3 dollars a tablet. Here, in America, where I’m told we have the “best healthcare in the world”, it’s about 30 dollars a tablet.
Maybe we should stick with medical profiteering as United’s sole purpose? I get that, and I can see how pushing my medical needs over the cliff saves money this month, and buries the eventual larger cost down the road, which drive the price of the shares up in the short term. Manipulating the markets. Ewww….That’s rather risqué so close to the October 2008 Bush Market Crash.
Of course not! United would never….and I believe that. It’s all coming clear to me now: United’s plan is to fail to pay for those future healthcare crises at all! Bravo for your shareholders. Well done! And here we thought United’s record profits would be enough to please them….but why stop there when you can deny coverage to tons more people?
Now, it may sound like I’m paranoid…but this is what happens when the big Death Panel stamps “No” on your passport to life, and you, as the consumer, are not even allowed to speak to Oz.
See, I spoke with XXX, #XXXXXX (so comforting, this number system) at United when I called Friday. I was told there is no fax number and no person I can speak with. All I can do is write the post office box address provided. Oh, a Post Office Box. Like all of those scam artists have…
You can see that it might be a bit cold: “So you, consumer/sucker are in life threatening pain? Ha ha! We deny you coverage and we won’t give you any contact information!”
Oh, my heart breaks when I think of how many people are trying to keep United from making three times their record profits this year and pestering their over-stuffed post office box with tear-stained letters begging for the Death Panels to reconsider…
And the poor CEO, making over $100,000 a minute, while I sit here and whine about my life. It’s enough to make me find the Republican Jesus so I can commit to hating myself for wanting to live.
Some might say you need to be regulated and overseen, but why, when you can kill so many people like this, and with the approval of your shareholders, which is sort of like saying “with god’s approval”, after all, profit is the new God! Yes, this is truly the New Pro-America; it’s not capitalism, it’s Death Panel for Dollars, and the big guys win!
If only I weren’t a sucker consumer without my own personal lobbying posse, I wouldn’t be in this position of having to write an anonymous post office box while I writhe in pain, one side of my face frozen from a migraine, and blinded in one eye. But this is surely what I deserve for being a middle-class, hard-working, tax-paying idiot who believed in United Health Care’s promise to provide health care. Sucker! My bad.
Darwin would of course, be so pleased with United, especially since corporations are now “people” in all senses but the moral and ethical senses. And of course, who would think you’d need to regulate a beast with no moral or ethical sense? I mean, geeze, it’s not like we just saw that in action for the last 8 years. Heck of a job, Brownie. Really!
Something tells me “medical health insurance plan” is the new Amway! I just want to know, how do I get to be on top? Must I be to the Manor born? Does it help me at all that I went to the same private boarding school as Mittens? Of course, like all of my friends, he inherited enough money so that he never has to ask ugly questions about which United Death Panel is coming for him and his family.
Oh, Mittens…if I agree to sell my body and soul and sail on your yacht with you for a whole day, will you give me some generic sumatriptan?
P.S. For the sake of accuracy, may I humbly suggest that you change your name to United Financial Health and just get rid of that pesky word “insurance”?
State Insurance Commissioner
Congressman xxxxxxx DC, xxxxx. Since I’m sure United is writing him, too, in order to avoid confusion, this is not a campaign donation, but rather a letter from a live (for now) human being AKA a constituent.