Stop insurance providers from rejecting doctor-recommended cancer treatment.

Stop insurance providers from rejecting doctor-recommended cancer treatment.

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Linseigh Green started this petition to Representative Lucy McBath and

Last June, my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer--the same disease that killed both his father and his father-in-law.

Fortunately, we caught it early, and we assumed he'd begin treatment as soon as possible. His doctor recommended proton therapy, as he believed it would offer my father the highest quality of life and the least likelihood of his cancer returning. Just as we thought we could breathe, his insurance provider, BlueCross BlueShield, told him the treatment was "experimental" and "medically unnecessary." 

Like many life-saving medical treatments, proton therapy has an extremely high cost. If we tried to pay for the treatment without coverage, we would lose everything. So we appealed and were rejected multiple times. In January, my dad's case was reviewed by a panel of doctors. "Surely they wouldn't deny a patient life-saving treatment recommended by their doctor," we thought. 

They did. We are not allowed to appeal again. 

This is not an anomalous case. So many patients have been denied coverage for the cancer treatment they need, despite recommendations from their doctors. See, for instance, groups such as the Alliance for Proton Therapy Access. Several members of the group were denied coverage by BlueCross BlueShield as well.

I would also like to point out that my family is relatively privileged in comparison to some others, who may be dealing with a more advanced diagnosis, general financial hardships, or other struggles, yet also cannot access treatment. The fact that this is even possible in such a wealthy nation is unconscionable for many of our international counterparts, whose healthcare programs often ensure needed treatments like these are covered. So why is it acceptable, or even common, to go through this in the United States? 

The waiting, the expenses, the rejections--the fact that patients struggle to access the care they need and families must consider going into crushing debt while insurance companies profit is ruining lives. Love is at stake. This is preventable. This is shameful. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that access to healthcare is crucial for our society. It has made it painfully clear that depriving patients of such care is inhumane. 

I am calling on Congresswoman Lucy McBath, Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, and other members of Congress to introduce legislation to ensure patients won't be denied coverage for doctor-recommended, life-saving treatment. I believe it is safe to assume that such treatment is never "medically unnecessary," and lawmakers should ensure patients in this situation are not prevented from accessing it due to prohibitive costs.

Part of serving your constituents is keeping us alive. Please save our families.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!
At 25,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!