Tag Archives: patient revolt

CNA Forces Insurer to Buckle, Provide Life-Saving Care for Sick California Teen

The CNA has been in the headlines for other reasons lately, but I don’t think anyone can discount the incredible activism they have engaged in on behalf of patients being denied life-saving medical treatment.  Word now comes of another victory against the “murder by spreadsheet” insurance industry who felt like saving a kid’s life wasn’t good for business.

In the face of a national campaign on behalf of Nick Colombo, insurance giant PacifiCare has reversed its decisions and agreed to critically needed cancer treatments for the 17-year-old from Placentia, Calif.  The decision came after the company was overwhelmed by calls organized by Nick’s friends and family, along with RNs from the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, and netroots activists.

Over 100 of Nick’s classmates, friends of the family with their young children, and nurses protested in front of the insurance company headquarters this morning to demand that the approval be put in writing, which a PacifiCare representative, surrounded by T.V. cameras, and  promised to do.

“I am extremely happy about PacifiCare’s reversal, said Ricky Colombo, Nick’s 19-year old brother.  “The goal was to get treatment for Nick, and CNA/NNOC and other allies helped us with that.  We decided to go through with the rally in order to get their decision on the record and make sure they back up their words-and also because there are thousands of others in similar situations who can’t get the care they need.  We feel blessed to have this community supporting our family.”

In the fight for universal health care, all sides of the debate on the left are going to be instrumental.  The CNA’s tenacity and effectiveness in organizing “patient revolts” like this is very valuable, particularly to show the inequities in the current broken health care system.  Activists shut down PacifiCare’s phone system on multiple occasions before they capitulated.

To beat the powerful interests that want to maintain the status quo you’re going to need every activist and every strategy you can find.  And we’re going to win this fight, one patient at a time.