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June 20, 2007

ABC Demands ‘Answers’ on U.S. Health Insurance

On Monday’s "Good Morning America," the ABC program shifted into full advocacy mode as anchor Chris Cuomo investigated the health insurance industry. A week after the network promoted Michael Moore’s new documentary "Sicko" for over 21 minutes, co-host Diane Sawyer announced that, regarding health care, the program was demanding "some answers" with a new segment. According to Sawyer, the series is "for you, for all of us." At the close of the report, the ABC anchor even pleaded with the audience for examples of nefarious health care companies:

Diane Sawyer: "...If you have an insurance company policy, a question that you want to raise, you want us to tackle something that you think the insurance companies are doing, you write to us. You let us know about it. ABCNews.com. We are on the case."

And while Cuomo was "on the case" of a woman who had difficulty getting her insurance company to approve a much needed eye surgery, there has been no similar look at Canadian horror stories where government run health care made one woman with breast cancer wait three months for radiation treatment.

A report by the Canadian Fraser Institute found that the average wait time in that country to see a general practitioner was 17.7 weeks. One such incident found a woman waiting over three months to receive radiation therapy for breast cancer:

A similar lawsuit was filed in Quebec on behalf of 10,000 women with breast cancer who were forced into long waits for radiation therapy. Anahit Cilinger was one such patient. After having a lymph node removed in October 1999, she was put on a waiting list for radiation therapy. Three months later and with no end to the waiting in sight, she traveled to her native Turkey and paid $12,000 for the treatment.

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Posted by healthinsurance at June 20, 2007 10:25 AM