As we dig deeper into the once-shrouded realities of our own health care system, the stories about how families and individuals have been forced to struggle to get health care coverage and the ridiculous reasons insurance companies have given for denying coverage are coming out.
Yahoo News reports on another story of a family with a toddler told that their otherwise perfectly healthy child was "too small" to qualify for health coverage.
On Wednesday morning [October 21st, 2009], "The Today Show" covered the story
of 2-year-old Aislin Bates. Though she weighs just 22 pounds (in
the third percentile range for kids her age), her doctor has described
her as being perfectly healthy, never having been sick with anything
more than a cold. Still, United HealthCare didn’t buy it, saying that the child didn’t meet height and weight standards. So, no insurance for Aislin.
It appears United Health Care has a set policy to discriminate based on arbitrary measures of size and weight. Yesterday, we reported on the story of Peggy Robertson who, after being told by United Health Care’s Golden Rule division that the condition for her own health care coverage would be for her to get sterilized, she was subsequently also told that her son was too small to be covered.
Yahoo reports that:
After the segment aired on NBC,
queries on young Aislin surged from zilch into triple digits. United
HealthCare is wisely responding to what could be a PR crisis.
In an article from Denver’s ABC affiliate, a company spokesperson for United HealthCare said the company’s "are based on several medical sources, including the Centers for Disease Control, and are well within industry standards."
If these are industry standards then we surely there is something wrong with the "industry."
Aislin’s father Rob was quoted as saying that even though he doesn’t
support universal health care, this battle over insuring his daughter
has made him want insurance companies to have more "legitimate reasons
for denying coverage."
NBC medical expert,
who appeared with the Bates family, was more pointed in her criticism:
“This is just so bogus. A pre-existing condition for a child this age
is birth, let’s be real….. This is why things have to change."