If this isn’t the most disgusting thing you read today you need to cut back on your internet usage.
An image of a letter is making the rounds on Twitter in which Spectrum Health, a healthcare provider, denies a patient a necessary heart transplant and recommends that she use crowdfunding to raise another $10,000 dollars before becoming a suitable candidate for the procedure. The letter states that the woman has been rejected for a heart transplant due to needing “a more secure financial plan” to cover her post-surgery drugs.
Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared the image, after it was posted by others, and it quickly caused a stir resulting in an avalanche of tweets ranging from righteous indignation to criticisms defending the letter or claiming that the post was misleading.
Insurance groups are recommending GoFundMe as official policy - where customers can die if they can’t raise the goal in time - but sure, single payer healthcare is unreasonable.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 24, 2018
h/t @DanRiffle pic.twitter.com/zetPW0MgDd
Trying to figure out if telling a patient they need to do a GoFundMe is a step up from the standard practice of just telling them they're fucked.— luke oneil (@lukeoneil47) November 24, 2018
Jokes about how GoFundMe is becoming an integral part of our insane health insurance system are no longer funny. pic.twitter.com/47DrOXsc1r— Every billionaire is a policy failure (@DanRiffle) November 24, 2018
Some users proposed the ZANY idea of a nation-wide GoFundMe to pay for all of our horrible medical bills. You could call it “taxes” or something cool like that.
What if.... now here me out... we had one giant GoFundMe for everyone that we all contributed to every year?— Alex (@Kabehr1401) November 25, 2018
If people want to help others with medical issues, one great way is through TAXES that fund UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE— Peter J Pierre (@PJPsych) November 24, 2018
Canadians were politely horrified by this latest example of barbarity from the American healthcare system.
As a ?? I’ll never understand why Americans continue to be the sadist example of the free world.— Think B4U Tweet (@IRaiseUFacts) November 24, 2018
Is universal healthcare perfect? Nothing is perfect. But I don’t EVER worry about getting healthcare when my family needs it.
JFC vote in ppl who care about Americans. ?
Insurance co denies heart transplant bc clients financial resources are insecure in relation to cost for prescriptions required after transplant- So they suggest client should fund raise $10K then reapply.— Mary lckc (@mary_lckc) November 25, 2018
Or die. pic.twitter.com/8YG3jrP0kH
Some Twitter users pointed out that this wasn’t an insurance company but rather a clinic denying the patient coverage, which is true. According to Wikipedia Spectrum Health is a “managed care health care organization” that runs a number of hospitals and clinics.
This is a Heart Transplant Clinic, not an insurer. Her monthly Medicare Part B copays will be very high; needs $$$ for this, the deductible, etc. The clinic is trying to ensure her success. No question our system is messed up, but please just be careful where you point Twitter.— Michael Burton (@MichaelBurtonMD) November 25, 2018
Fun fact: The chairman of Spectrum Health is none other than Dick DeVos, the husband of our Donald Trump-appointed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The DeVoses have an estimated net worth of $5.4 billion. It’s hard to believe they don’t understand (or care) about the economic realities of average people, who are indeed forced to turn to crowdfunding to help pay for normal medical bills like ambulance rides on a sickeningly regular basis.
A health care clinic recommended a patient fundraise $10,000 to cover a heart transplant since her health insurance won’t cover it.— Sasha Perez (@SashaReneePerez) November 25, 2018
Crowdfunding has been forced to pick up the slack of America’s broken healthcare system. 1/3 of all @gofundme campaigns are for medical bills.? pic.twitter.com/OvGjucUA1j
Technically the hospital committee is saying that the drugs the patient would need following surgery would be too expensive for her to afford so they are denying her the transplant and recommending fundraising based on projected postoperative costs, but the result is functionally the same: she is being denied lifesaving healthcare due to her financial situation.
Astonishing number of replies to this (and AOC’s tweet) to the tune of “no it’s good they just want to make sure a valuable heart transplant isn’t wasted on someone who can’t afford immunotherapy drugs” which is another way of saying only rich people should get transplants.— Every billionaire is a policy failure (@DanRiffle) November 25, 2018
“Get 10,000$ or die”: this is the real “Death Panel”.— Oran Magal (@OranMagal) November 24, 2018
This is the situation in America. If you’re rich you have access to healthcare. If you’re poor you often don’t. In the eyes of America’s draconian healthcare system your financial worth determines your human worth. Can’t afford to live?
Too bad, bucko.