Thursday, October 8, 2009

In Search Of Justice From An Unjust System

Via Huffington Post comes the tragic story of the Sarkisyan family, who traveled from California to Philadelphia to confront the CEO of CIGNA, Edward Hanway, over the death of their 17-year-old daughter Nataline. Nataline was denied a liver transplant by CIGNA in 2007. The family and a group of nurses accompanying them were escorted off the premises by police, after a CIGNA employee tried to claim he could not discuss the case because of HIPAA laws.

As they left the building another CIGNA employee heckled them from a balcony above.

Watch it here:

Although the family tried to sue,
The Sarkisyan family's wrongful-death suit was thrown out of court because of a 1987 Supreme Court ruling that shields employer-paid health care plans from damages over their coverage decisions.

The Sarkisyans say the law needs to be changed to allow people to sue health insurers for these kinds of decisions.

"If you don't sue, you can't make changes," Hilda Sarkisyan said. "It's not about the money. It's about the principle. They are just going to keep denying people care if we don't stop them."

Yet conservatives want to not only protect companies like CIGNA, but also enact even stricter “tort reform” to prevent people from seeking justice in the courts.

When will the scales be tilted in favor of the people?