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I am not sure this is the proper place to post this information, but I wanted to share it with everyone. PBS in the US is going to be broadcasting a show called "Sick Around America" on their Frontline program. I received an email about it today. Here is a copy of the email I received. Of particular interest to me was a paragraph towards the bottom about a lupus patient. I have bolded it below. I will definitely be watching this to see what they have to say. It sounds like they are going to allow some feedback online too. Here is the information:

FRONTLINE
http://www.pbs.org/frontline/

- This Week: "Sick Around America" (60 minutes),
March 31st at 9pm on PBS (Check local listings)
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"You might be surprised," a health policy expert says near the start of this week's FRONTLINE, before listing some of the reasons people are routinely denied health insurance. "People are turned down because they have hay fever, because they have acne. People are turned down if they're 20 pounds overweight. Bedwetting, ear infections in kids..."

Unfortunately, after watching "Sick Around America" this Tuesday night (check local listings), you might come away thinking those denied coverage for frivolous reasons are actually the lucky ones.

In this film, producer Jon Palfreman travels the country talking to some of the millions of Americans who are uninsured, underinsured, or at risk of bankruptcy from unpaid medical bills. He meets a woman who's dropped by her insurer not long after she receives a cancer diagnosis. He finds a 23 year-old engineering student who had planned to head off to grad school, but, instead, works a low-wage job for the affordable health coverage he needs to cover a chronic condition.

And then there's the tragic story of a young woman who dies of Lupus after being dropped by her state's Medicaid program. "I'm not afraid to say it," her doctor tells FRONTLINE in an emotional interview. "Nikki didn't die from Lupus. "Nikki died... secondary to the complications of a failing health care system."

"I think everyone now understands it's not sustainable, right?" says Jeffrey Kang, a doctor and insurance executive. "From an insurance perspective it's not sustainable. From a business perspective it's not sustainable. Obviously from the consumers' perspective it's not sustainable. And I actually think the doctors and the hospitals understand that it's not sustainable..."

The question that powerfully emerges from this film--and which now confronts the nation--is whether the vested interests vying for trillions in health care dollars can come together to make the kind of fundamental change that everyone now seems to agree we need.

We hope you'll join us Tuesday night for the full report--broadcast or streamed online. In the meantime, visit our Web site for a preview http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundamerica/ . Starting Tuesday night our site offers interviews with key players, some critical background and links, and the opportunity to join the discussion.

Ken Dornstein
Senior Editor

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Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation. Additional funding for Sick Around America is provided by The Colorado Health Foundation, The Colorado Trust and The Commonwealth Fund.
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FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation.

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We're always happy to hear from our viewers. If you have a question or comment about a FRONTLINE program, about our website, or about this bulletin, you can write to us directly by going to:
http://www.pbs.org/frontline/contact/

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FRONTLINE
one guest street, boston, ma. 02135
http://www.pbs.org/frontline/
 

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That sounds very interesting. I hope it will be available to us over here in Europe too via the internet.

Katharine
 

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Edith, Thank you for passing on this information. For too many years the Insurance companies in the States have had too much control. Persons that have good ,affordable coverage, do not realize what difficult times the under-insured or none insured are experiencing. I pray under our new administration change will come(time will tell). I have a friend that was recently widowed, that pays a huge amount for private insurance(she is self employed) and it does not cover routine preventative check-ups. I could go on and on,but I won't! It is just such a thorn in my side. Thanks again, Rosie
 

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I suspect that it will also focus heavily on inadequacies in the health care system. Of course, those inadequacies exist in some form worldwide.
 

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Katharine, if no where else, you can check the PBS station online here in Seattle, KCTS channel 9. I didn't get a paper today so need to get one tomorrow for the tv guide.

Thank you, Edith, for posting about this. Yes, our health care system has been dictated by the insurance industry. As one who used to process claims for a Fortune 500 co., they can be very controlling and discriminate against those of us who have chronic health conditions.
Sally
 
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