SEATTLE - One way to get your message across about health care reform
is to deliver it in person to the insurance company that covers you.
Almost 500 people gathered at the CIGNA insurance office in Seattle on
Monday afternoon to do that.
Among the speakers was Jo Godfrey, a lung cancer survivor and CIGNA
policyholder who claims that doctors working for CIGNA knew she had
cancer but wouldn't diagnose it, because, she says, the company didn't
want to pay for treatment. Today, she's a supporter of a public health
insurance option, and thinks more competition for insurers would mean
less of what she calls 'patient abuse.'
"I use that term 'abuse' because I think that when a person is ill and
a doctor has taken a Hippocratic oath to protect the life of that
patient, and a person is sending them away and telling them there is
nothing wrong with them, that is criminal action."
Godfrey points to private insurance companies spending more than one
million dollars a day to lobby against a public health insurance option
as proof that such an option is needed.
"I really believe that having an option to get a plan that's not
controlled by the insurance companies, that doesn't make a profit, is
the fair thing to do, and it will save lives."
Godfrey's case is part of an online documentary, called "Sick for
Profit" by Brave New Films. She spoke to members of the caregivers'
union, SEIU, which organized the rally.
On its Web site, CIGNA says it supports a "partnership between the
private and public sectors," and calls a government-run public option
Godfrey's group is at www.unitedpatientsofamerica.org
; more information on the "Sick for Profit" project is at www.bravenewfilms.org