Last Tuesday, sixty health care reform advocates attended the Senate hearing on SR27, Sen. Jane Cunningham’s nonbinding resolution urging AG Chris Koster to join the right’s legal protests against the Affordable Health Care Act. Twenty people spoke feelingly about government’s responsibility to protect its citizens from corporations misusing their power (like, say, dropping a patient’s coverage when he gets sick or refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions). Ordinary people, they maintained, should not have their lives shortened or ended to in order to bloat the bottom line at health care companies. It was all so boring from the point of view of a senator who has full health coverage, thanks to the citizens of this state. So Cunningham, decided to make the best of it. She texted–until Lily Tinker Fortel testified about the way her health insurance company had mistreated her. As a college student, she stayed on her parents’ policy, but then in her sophomore year, a tumor in her mouth turned out to be malignant and to require major surgery late in the summer. After the surgery, she had to have ten weeks of radiation–which kept her from re-enrolling in school. Since she was no longer a student, the insurance company dropped her coverage.
As Fortel told this story, with Cunningham sitting next to her attending to “real” matters, Fortel decided to challenge her. At about 3:15 in the video, she declares:
People die because of the games insurance companies play with our lives [here Fortel looked pointedly at Cunningham with her voice quavering] at the most vulnerable moments of our lives.
Fortel finally had the senator’s attention. The texting stopped.
[For some reason the film is not showing up on the front page on my server, but if you’ll click “Discuss”, it’s beyond the fold.]
(h/t to Amy Smoucha of Jobs with Justice for taking and posting the video