CPC Report; An unabashedly liberal perspective

15 September 2010


"Come, enter the Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was sick and you visited me"
 "When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did not come to Your help?" And Jesus will answer them, "Whatever you neglected to do unto one of the least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!"

Isaiah 58:7

Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

James 2:16

If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

Requiem for a Child


Another Medical Horror Story (reprint- 1 March)

On 9 February, Keith Olbermann reported the  story of Kyler Van Nocker, who suffers from neuroblastoma.* HealthAmerica, his insurance company, refuses to pay for an investigational and experimental therapy, called I-MIBG radiation, in which Kyler had just begun. This therapy is needed for him to live. A lawsuit against Health-America has been filed on behalf of this person, who is only five years old.

Coverage for the procedure was denied on the grounds that there was not sufficient medical evidence that the requested procedure will be effective in treating Kyler's condition and that this therapy is not approved by the FDA. Yet the insurance coverage had already covered two other therapies for Kyler which are likewise investigational and experimental and had also not been approved by the FDA.

The stated grounds for denial was that "inadequate evidence in the peer-reviewed published clinical literature regarding its effectiveness" was available. Furthermore, even an independent board chosen by both parties had approved the treatment, which would indicate the board's disagreement with HeathAmerica.

"It's considered experimental because not enough kids with recurring neuroblastoma live long enough. So, really, all treatment at this stage of Kyler's disease is considered experimental." was Paul Van Nocker, father of Kyler, reply to the remarks made by a representative of the so called health provider.

Kyler's oncologist, Stephan Grupp, is on record saying that "It's considered the standard of care in Europe and the United States for recurrent neuroblastoma. It's not an unproven treatment with no basis in medical science. Actually, the results are often very good."

Paul has angrily declared this about his so called health care provider. "They have a plan for Kyler. Their plan is for him to die."

In an obvious attempt to put to shame and compel Health-America into honoring its obligation to provide the much  needed health care prescribed by Kyler's doctors, Kyler's parents sued. Health American has continued to refuse to pay for Kyler's medical bills. They must think that their bureaucrats know about medicine better than Kyler's own doctors. Exactly where did these bureaucrats receive their medical diplomas in which would justify killing Kyler?

But thankfully, Kyler did receive some treatment. But it was not from the Health-America that had so eagerly accepted those premium checks, but from the generosity of Kyler's doctors, his hospital and New Jersey's state's Medicaid program. Because Kyler's coverage was denied, his parents went bankrupt. The question now is whether the treatment Kyler gets now will be what is needed and enough to save his life.

Now where is the outrage from the right concerning this matter? For all the bogus talk about government run death panels promoted by the RWLM, why is there no concern expressed about the ones we already have- the health care insurance companies. Health insurance companies operate for profit and are only beholden to their shareholders. How about having a health care delivery system primarily concerned with the health of our people instead? Five year old Kyler Van Nocker would appreciate this.

* Neuroblastoma is a kind of cancer in which begins development in the very primitive nerve cells found in an embryo or fetus. This kind of cancer is found mostly in infants and young children and is rarely found in children older than ten.


The Death of a Child- Proof that reform was needed in our health care delivery system

Kyler Van Nocker has died. His death provides the proof that health care reform was needed and since there still is no public option available, more reform is still needed. Paul Van Nocker, Kyler's father, had once declared that HealthAmerica, his health care provider, had a plan for Kyler which was for him to die. Kyler's death came on Sunday 9 September, just three months short of his sixth birthday. Keith Olbermann of MSNBC Countdown had correctly stated the truth- Kyler had died of cancer and from the health insurance coverage withheld by HealthAmerica. But more than that, Kyler died at the hands of a death panel run not by the government, but rather an insurance company- one of many.

It was not
government bureaucrats who were responsible for his death, but rather bureaucrats employed by HealthAmerica. Their motive was their love of monetary profit, which is the biblical root of evil. This love of money ultimately trumped the life of Kyler. This is the rationed care feared by the opponents of reform. It is based solely on one's ability to pay. So where is the outrage from the Palins, the Bachmans and the other GOP politicians? From the Limbaughs and Becks of the Right Wing Lying Machine? From the teabaggers and deathers? From all of those who supposedly feared such nonexistent death panels in the health care reform legislation while overlooking the real ones found within the "for profit" health care insurance industry. When shall they realize that a health care delivery system's purpose cannot be for both profit and also for caring for the medical misfortunes of the unfortunate, for these two goals are in direct conflict with each other. Maximizing the profits for those health care insurance corporations means disposing of that which takes from those profits. It means disposing of someone like Kyler. Now the bell tolls for Kyler and when the bell tolls for the death of this child, all of the before mentioned should take heed to these words. "Do not ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."

At Last - A Patient's Bill of Rights

Good afternoon,

It seems like everywhere you go in this country, you hear story after story of Americans who have been let down by the private health insurance system. Parents in Texas unable to buy coverage for their infant born with a heart defect. A Los Angeles woman forced to stop chemotherapy for months while fighting her insurer's claim that her cancer was a pre-existing condition. Patients whose life-saving treatments and therapies are cut short due to annual or lifetime coverage limits.

Yesterday, President Obama put an end to these unfair practices once and for all by announcing new rules made possible by the Affordable Care Act. These new rules will take effect for most plans starting on or after September 23rd. They will remove barriers between you and your doctor and help provide the peace of mind that health insurance will be there when you need it the most.

You can watch the President and me speak about the people who these rules will help and why we fought so hard to make them part of the new law:

A major goal of the Affordable Care Act is to put American consumers back in charge of their coverage and care.

Here are a few key ways these new rules will help do that:

  • Stop insurance companies from imposing pre-existing condition exclusions on your children;

  • Prohibit insurers from rescinding or taking away your coverage based on an unintentional mistake on an application;

  • Ban insurers from setting lifetime limits on your coverage and restrict their use of annual limits on coverage;

  • Ensure that you can choose the primary care doctor or pediatrician you want from your plan's provider network;

  • Eliminate the need for a referral to see an ob-gyn;

  • Prohibit insurance companies from requiring "prior approval" before you seek emergency care at a hospital outside your plan's network.

These rules effectively put in place a basic set of consumer protections known over the years as the "Patient's Bill of Rights." This is a concept introduced 15 years ago and supported by both Democrats and Republicans. After years of effort and the passage of the Affordable Care Act, I'm proud to say we are finally protecting those rights and putting health care back in the right hands: yours.

Now, let me touch on a few other updates about what we're doing to implement health care reform.

Over the past several weeks, we have:

  • Ensured that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it -- by issuing some new regulations for insurance plans that give you, your family, and your business more control over your health care choices;

  • Worked to get coverage to one of the groups who is least insured, young people, through a new provision that will allow children up to the age of 26 to stay on their parents health care plan (a benefit that we successfully persuaded many insurers to implement ahead of schedule);

  • Announced tax credits that will benefit millions of small businesses that have been struggling to provide care to their employees;

  • Begun mailing $250 checks to tens of thousands of seniors who have reached the ‘donut hole' -- a term used to describe the gap in Medicare Part D prescription coverage -- to help seniors manage their health care costs;

  • Announced new support to strengthen and expand the health care workforce, including increasing the number of primary care doctors and nurses.

The passage of the Affordable Care Act was an historic victory for the American people, laying a new foundation for relief from skyrocketing health insurance costs and for secure, stable, and affordable health care coverage. But passage brought us an important new challenge -- implementation -- and I look forward to sharing additional news and updates as we steadily turn the promise of health reform into reality.


Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary of Health and Human Services

No Man is an Island by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore, never send to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


   Glynn Braman    Glynn Braman      Glynn Braman 

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