Some days I walk myself to the statehouse in the dark, sit attentive
through long committees, ask unwelcome questions, end up the sole no or
yes vote on a bill, look at the long list of evening events we are
supposed to attend and wonder what I am doing.
I forget how many
kind people have written to tell me how much better it makes them feel
that I am here. I forget that on occasion I do make a change that
affects lives, I give voice to what isn't heard or those who will be
harmed. And that is something.
It is hard though.
when we heard a simple bill to mandate that insurance companies cover
"elemental formula" as if it were medicine so that kids (whose lives
depend on eating this formula instead of food) can afford it and can
So that you know, some kids can't eat regular food.
At about two months their bodies reject their mother's milk and if they
are lucky their doctor figures it out and puts them on special formula
and then about 1/3 of them get better quickly, another bunch get better
in a year or two and a very few need the formula for life.
Idaho insurance companies don't cover this stuff. And after today's
vote they still won't. The companies promise though to try harder and
we believed them. We don't like mandates I guess. This is something new
for me to know about the Commerce Committee. It governs health
insurance. Or, I know now, doesn't govern health insurance. All the
things we COULD do to make health insurance companies do a better job,
stop denying claims, be more accountable for making people wade through
so much red tape to get something covered they know should be
covered… we don't do that. We trust insurance companies instead.
sat there today and listened to those parents' stories. I can only ask
what kind of nation makes people lose everything because someone in
their family is sick? What kind of government tells them to get a
divorce so they can maybe qualify for Medicaid so their child does not
die? What kind of state makes people go through this? Run up tens of
thousands on their credit cards, sell everything? What kind of people
refuse to do anything because the insurance company lobbyists are
really nice people and they promise us things if we will only agree not
to make them do what they don't want to.
I'm disgusted because we
have no backbone, because I work in one of the few places where we
COULD fix some of what is wrong with healthcare and we won't. I'm
disgusted because I work in one of the few places in the state where
the people I work with mostly don't seem to think there is anything
wrong with insurance companies or the way health care works. Or worse,
they use how broken the system is to agree to do nothing at all.
On a similar insurance coverage issue, Lot Watts, social worker from St. Als Hospital testifies as to how some cancer patients are unable to pay for a chemotherapy drug because insurers classify it as a pharmaceutical rather than a cancer therapy. Watts and the chemotherapy bill's sponsor Senator Joyce Broadsword are opposed by not fewer than seven seated insurance industry lobbyists.