Thursday, May 24, 2018

United HealthCare, God, and a Life-Saving Liver Transplant

In The Sheepdog's opinion, it appears United HealthCare (UHC) thinks it's no longer in the health insurance business. Instead, it's received a promotion into the business of being God. However, don't take my word for it, just ask 38-year-old mother of one, Erika Zak. UHC has put her through as much hell as cancer did.

Location of human liver - credit Wikipedia
Diagnosed with colorectal cancer, Erika endured more than 70 rounds of chemo and various other treatments which resulted in serious side effects, including damage to her liver and subsequent liver failure.

Over 100 doctors from the country's top medical centers concur that Erika's only hope for survival at this point is a life-saving liver transplant. Yet, UHC denied coverage saying, "unproven health services is not a covered benefit". Really? Despite the fact that transplants have saved thousands of lives in the U.S. for decades, UHC refers to transplant as "unproven". Science, medical technology, and thousands of transplant recipients across the country, including The Sheepdog, prove otherwise.

The Sheepdog has seen a lot in his time, but the way UHC treated this woman and played GOD with her life, stringing her along for months, may be the most cold hearted thing I've heard of an insurance company doing. I suspect others have experienced similar agony, though.

I implore everyone, even though it's a lengthy read, to take the time to read the full story about Erika, and watch the emotional video contained within, telling her complete heartbreaking story about her life and death fight with  United HealthCare. The story is titled, "Her Only Chance At Life Is A New Liver But Her Insurer Said No: Then She Wrote A Powerful Plea to The- CEO", on

We hear every day about this and that needing to be banned. It's a lengthy list. Most of it is BS, but surely we can all agree one thing needs to be on the list - the health insurance companies ability to play GOD. They appear to think that it's o.k. for them to choose who lives, who dies, and what treatments people are allowed to receive and even go against the knowledgeable recommendations of doctors and other medical professionals in doing so. This story proves it, and no matter how you slice it - it's wrong.

The U.S. is the richest country in the world. Therefore, no American's life should ever hang in the balance over money. In fact:
  • No young mom should ever have to wonder if she'll see another Mother's Day because of money.
  • No husband should ever have to wonder if he'll get to share another anniversary with his wife, and 
  • no little girl should ever have to wonder and ask her mom, "Will you be here forever and ever?" because of money. 
Those things should never happen in the U.S., because no insurance company should be allowed to play GOD - ever. None.

We consider the U.S., unlike other countries, to be a civilized society that highly values human life, yet health insurance companies are permitted to pull stunts such as this. It needs to stop, and it needs to stop yesterday. Otherwise, the whole idea of us being "civilized" and valuing human life is a complete lie.

Therefore, The Sheepdog is calling on President Trump, Congress, all 50 state legislatures, all 50 state governors, local governments, and all other regulatory agencies to immediately pass and enact any laws and / or regulations needed to expressly prohibit any and all health insurance companies operating in the U.S. from refusing or denying coverage for, or paying for, any life-saving medical procedure medical professionals have concluded, as in Erika's case, is needed in order for a patient to survive and / or have a high quality of life. I'm also calling on The Supreme Court and Federal, state, and local courts to uphold such laws and regulations if they are challenged in the court system.

Why? Because medical professionals should decide a patient's treatment, not a health insurance company bureaucrat behind a desk in a cushy office somewhere who has little to no medical expertise. Continuing to allow pencil pushers to make life-saving medical decisions makes about as much sense as it would for me, who's never played a down of organized football, telling Tom Brady and Bill Belichick how to win a Super Bowl.

If the "powers that be", mentioned above, choose not to do so, then, in The Sheepdog's opinion, they are complicit in the needless suffering and dying of any American due to such health insurance company behavior. Furthermore, the American people should hold them all accountable for their cold-heartedness at election time in 2018 and future years. These "powers that be" should also never tell us again how much they "care about the people", ..... because it's a lie.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr .................

P.S. Don't forget - The Sheepdog is now on Facebook here.


Steve said...

Amen!! Good read.

The Second Chance Sheepdog said...

Thank you, Steve.