Monday, June 28, 2004

Some Questions

I couldn't help myself.

The director and author will attempt to save as many lives as he can by simply intervening with his camera crew during the course of 90 minutes of filming. He hopes to embarrass health insurance companies and hospitals into continuing to care for patients with no cover - highlighting holes in the American system...

Moore said he had the idea when making his TV show, The Awful Truth, shown in Britain on Channel 4. 'We had this guy who was going to die because his HMO [insurers] wouldn't pay for his transplant so we went with him and conducted a funeral rehearsal,' said Moore. 'The HMO was ashamed and paid for the transplant and he lives to this day.'
While this is all fine and dandy, who will pay for this stunt? Listen, as physicians we are to help anyone and everyone we can. In a perfect world, this would occur. But not even in the so-called perfect socialized medical world does everyone needing a certain procedure get what is required.

I'd be interested in knowing why the HMO in Moore's anecdote declined the transplant coverage in the first place (did the individual know there was no such coverage offered, yet still signed up for the HMO; was the individual a heavy drinker who should not have been placed on the organ list anyways; etc). I'd also be interested in knowing what sort of transplant it was, and just how long 1) he might have lived without the transplant, and 2) how long he will live with the transplant.

Lastly, I'd be interested in knowing how the HMO made up for the revenue shortfall that obviously occurred from taking on said procedure. Did they refuse to sign up 100 more low-income accounts? Did they cut back on some drug services in their formulary? Did they lay off 100 people? Who knows, the article doesn't say. It might be interesting to know though just what Michael Moore was able to pull off with his sleazy camera stunts, besides getting a transplant for someone. Maybe the DVD-version will have a footnote stating that only 50 money hungry republicans lost their jobs in exchange.