Commentary: All-too-common Arizona case only got resolved following media attention
by Wendell Potter For Public Integrity, May 5 2015
After writing a couple weeks back that we need to keep an eye on profit-hungry health insurers to make sure they are not refusing to pay for medically necessary care, I got a flood of emails and tweets from people with stories to share.
That column was published just as Arizona media were reporting that the country’s third largest insurer had told a Phoenix man he would have to pay a $165,000 hospital bill himself. Many wrote to tell me how outraged they were to hear that had it not been for the media attention, Cliff Faraci, called a good Samaritan for trying to save the life of a 19-year-old girl following a fiery crash in Arizona, might be facing bankruptcy.
I, too, was outraged, but, sadly, not at all shocked. It was just the most recent example of how health insurance bureaucrats insert themselves between patients and their doctors, all too often resulting in potentially life-saving treatment not being provided or patients getting stuck with bills far beyond their ability to pay