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CBS Evening News tonight built a story around a woman who was denied an experimental cancer drug by the British National Health Insurance. It was very sad. She may well die. The implication was that this is what could happen under a public system in the US.

If the idea was to give Americans something to think about as we consider how to change our current system, the story left out one really important fact. See if you can guess what that was. Ready?

They didn't mention that that woman wouldn't stand a chance in hell of having a private insurance company in the US pay for that drug. They didn't mention that if that poor woman was one of the 45 million Americans without insurance or one of the many millions of under-insured here, she'd probably be dead already for lack of treatment. The CBS story didn't hint at the fact that private insurance companies deny claims at all.

The story also mentioned that "there have been complaints in Britain about waiting lines." But they made no attempt to quantify or document those claims or in any way inform us about their accuracy.

Well, I wrote to CBS pointing out the deficiencies in their story. I mentioned the fact that in my home state, Arizona, about 10,000 claim denials were appealed last year and half were found in favor of the insured. Here's the report on that. Those numbers indicate just how frivolously our insurance companies deny claims. So CBS built a story on one Brit denied care, but didn't bother mentioning the millions of Americans denied care. Typical of the so-called health care "debate". What a joke.  

Originally posted to Dave in RI on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 07:11 PM PDT.

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