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I don't know about you but in this whole, what passes for a debate, on health care reform Stephen Hawking wasn't even on my radar screen.

Anyone who has  ever listened to him or read "A Brief History of Time" or any of his other books knows how intelligent and unique he is.  But I don't know of anyone who thought about him as one of the best examples to compare our so called system to a "socialized" system like Great Britain.

Stephen Hawking has Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS) or "Lou Gehrig's disease.  And there have been denials of care by health insurance companies for those diagnosed with this disease.

From MDA site:

Coverage Denial

Even under the best insurance plans, specific claims sometimes are denied. When consumers feel the denial violates the policy, they can appeal the decision, often with good results. Some observers say that insurance companies deny a certain number of claims in the belief that people won’t bother to appeal.

from LawyersandSettlements.com

And long-term care insurance isn't of course just for the elderly. It is supposed to pay for at-home care, assisted living or nursing-home care, regardless of age. However, delays, premium increases and denials of payment make the enormous investment in long-term care polices all too often worthless.

Insurance companies have many tactics to deny policyholders a valid claim, from lengthy delays and partial payments to flat-out denials. There are more than 8 million people in the US holding long term care policies, making it a very lucrative business. And the more claims denied mean bigger profits for the insurance companies.

And just look at what is quoted in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
By Robert Gordon Miller, M.D. Deborah Gelinas, Patricia O'Connor

Under "Final Word" (read it all it's worth it)

Often, someone you know will be willing to take on the insurance company with you.

It shouldn't be that hard to find someone who has done battle with the insurance companies over ALS that has won or lost and then do a comparison with the care and the fight for care Steven Hawking has received.

I see youtube side by side comparisons, poster boards, talking points.

They brought him in, they opened the door.  They [the right]just gave a gift wrapped up in a big bow.  Let's use it.

UPDATED from the comments
from lostmypassword

Great idea, found one already
Google is your friend

   Both of my parents were terminally ill with Lou Gehrig's disease, and our only insurance coverage came through my father's employer.

   We constantly struggled with in-and-out-of-network issues, as well as which services would be covered. Because insurance would not cover all of the care for my mother, we were eventually forced to sell the family home to cover the monthly costs of care, which amounted to almost $6,000 per month.

   It was personally very frustrating to me that my parents had paid thousands of dollars for insurance policies over the years only to be denied coverage when they really needed it.

****

Stephen Hawking: "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS."by Nuisance Industry

edited because I misspelled his name in the title and shortened it

Originally posted to Clytemnestra on Wed Aug 12, 2009 at 09:57 AM PDT.

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