Never underestimate the power of a determined family, the press, the internet, and an outraged public. Guardian Life has changed its policy and apologized to the Pearl family. Ian Pearl will continue to receive the home care he needs. Read more about the repentant insurer at CNN or at the Washington Times, the newspaper that broke the story last week.
When I first commented on the Times story, I argued that the insurer was simply doing what for-profit insurers must do. I wrote, "What is evil is this: that we Americans allow our health-care system to be financed by industries that exist to make a profit. No other rich capitalist nation does this."
After hearing from Matthew Pearl, Ian's brother, I realized that Guardian Life had gone beyond the necessary evils of for-profit health care. I then wrote: "I now understand that the Guardian Life Insurance Company grossly misbehaved, even by the lax standards of the health insurance industry, and should not be excused for any reason."
However, Guardian Life's repentance does not get insurance companies off the hook, nor does it excuse the inherent evils in a health-care system based on profit. Insurers will continue to deny coverage where it is most needed. Most families will be unable to challenge insurers with the skill and tenacity of the Pearls. The cost of insurance will continue to rise, along with the number of uninsured...
- unless Republicans stop whining and start crafting serious solutions.
- unless Democrats stop bickering and start agreeing on a proposal with teeth.
- unless everyone in Congress has the guts to forget about all those meals and junkets and campaign finance contributions lavished on them by the health-care industry, and votes for what is right and good and necessary.
LaVonne Neff is an amateur theologian and cook; lover of language and travel; wife, mother, grandmother, godmother, dogmother; perpetual student, constant reader, and Christian contrarian. She blogs at Lively Dust.