File puptcrit/puptcrit.0909, message 42


To: <puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 10:27:48 -0400
Subject: [Puptcrit] No one should die because they cannot afford healthcare


Here's a puppetry-related anecdote:  I once gove a performance at the 
headquaters of the Aetna Insurance Company in Hartford, CT.  The place was a 
palace, and within it was built a concert hall with 1200 seats.  For some 
reason, I had been booked for a lunchtime entertainment series for the 
employees.  I can assure you that 1200 people definitely did not show up!

I asked why an insurance company needed such an elaborate space.  My contact 
answered, "Oh, well we had Robert Klein here last week!" (This was when 
Robert Klein the comedian was at his peak.)

So the next thought that popped into my head (but not expressed) was, "So 
that's why your customers' premiums are so high.  They're paying for top 
draw entertainment for your employees.

And speaking of private versus public coverage: A few years ago I endured 
major surgery to remove a cyst behind my eye.  It required two doctors, one 
of whom was an oral surgeon - by the way, the head of his department at a 
big time NYC hospital.  Wouldn't you know that my insurance company at the 
time refused to pay him?  The excuse: "He's a dentist, and your policy does 
not cover dental work."

After my protest, the company demanded to see a copy of his license, which 
he found very insulting.  But still, it took my contacting the State 
Attorney General to compel the insurance company to finally pay.  That's the 
current state of the U.S. system, and it's nothing to be proud of.

Robert Rogers

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