Nataline Could Have Been 28 Today If Not For A Health Insurance Decision

Jul 12, 2018

By Wendell Potter, to view the original post visit tarbell.org. To visit the Nataline Sarkisyan Foundation click here.

I’ve been asked many times if there was one thing, one moment, that led me to leave my job at a big health insurance corporation. Yes, there was, and it occurred five days before Christmas in 2007. That was when a beautiful 17-year-old girl named Nataline Sarkisyan passed away, days after the company I worked for refused to pay for a liver transplant that her doctors believed would save her life. A few days after Nataline’s death, I turned in my notice.

Nataline would have been 28 today and very likely would have been a fashion designer, which was her dream. In celebration of her life and birthday, Tarbell is reprinting the chapter I wrote about her in my first book, Deadly Spin, An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans.

By the way, the Affordable Care Act did not address the issues that allowed a corporate medical director to overrule Nataline’s doctors and deny their request for coverage of the transplant. Her parents continue to fight for a health care system that doesn’t allow corporate executives to make life and death decisions.

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