Luis (not his real name) is in his 50’s. He got Hepatitis C and now badly needs a liver transplant. His HMO has been jacking him around, either intentionally or through incompetence. It took a month, and he’s continually weakening, just to see the specialist to try to get on the waiting list for a transplant. Bizarrely, it took them quite a while to determine that he has diabetes and high blood pressure too. Hello? High blood pressure can be diagnosed in three minutes. What IS the problem here?
His former employer (Luis is too weak to work now) wonders why the HMO keeps shuttling him around, doing more tests, when it’s obvious his health is failing. It appears the American health care system is so broken that even those with insurance can’t always get the help they need.
Luis and his wife recently had to sell everything and move in with one of their daughters because they can’t afford rent now that he can’t work. He’s getting forgetful, apparently the toxins from a damaged liver can and do get into the brain. Plus his eyes and various organs may be starting to go.
The US health care system is broken. In a civilized country, Luis would get the health care he needs, and get it quickly. Now, apparently, they’re just letting him die.
Oh yeah, he’s Latino, and thirty five years ago was a gangbanger and still has the tattoos. Maybe that’s why the HMO keeps ignoring him – just another Hispanic gang member, screw him. But he hasn’t been that for decades, and even if he was, it says something despicable about US health care that, even though he has insurance, the HMO fiddles whiles his health disintegrates.