I was Saralee's principal care assistant for the last years of her illness, and remember the first day she and I and our daughter Terry met Dr. DelPriore and were heartened by his hopefulness for combating SL's condition. (As I recall, we went immediately afterward to see the current Harry Potter movie.) Saralee fought long and hard, and amazed the doctors at how her body recovered in the last weeks from internal arterial damage they thought would be fatal. Up till near the end, I was sure she would pull through somehow, but she talked with me and asked what I would do in similar circumstances, and I had the distinct impression she was tiring of the fight and was ready to give in. I assured her that I'd support whatever she chose to do. In all this, the one ongoing villain was the Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurers who kept denying medication that was clearly working positively. It is intolerable that such number jockeys could interfere with the patient management of Dr. DelPriore's brilliant standing .. surely one of the key oncological researchers living today. It is vital for the work of the Saralee and Carol Foundation to go forward, in sync, so to speak, with other such organizations. The grievous health care mess that exists in America must be improved, and let us hope we at last have the President who will bring this about. Marvin Kaye
The Saralee And Carol Foundation addresses the tragic reality of 'junk' health insurance in the US. US for profit health insurance feeds on the most vulnerable members of our society, the sick and infirmed. The entire industry has developed to deny claims, delay care and wear down patients. Insurers always qualify their denial letters with a sentence to the effect that the doctors must provide whatever care is necessary and that the payment is a separate issue. Insurers never deny care — only the authorization for payment. To stall the actual delivery of care, insurers hold out an insincere promise to authorize payment if the doctor provides more information. This leads the doctor on indefinitely, while insurers never say absolutely "no" until the patient gives up or dies. I agonize over having to choose whether to wait one more day for approval or to go ahead with the surgery and potentially damn the patient, his family, and the institution, to assuming the financial consequences. If I do go ahead without approval, no one comes to rescues the bankrupted families. The Saralee and Carol Foundation provides real world assistance to help in the time of our greatest neesd.