Insurance issues

Photo by Bob Boston

(From left) F. Sessions Cole, M.D., the Park J. White Professor of Pediatrics, William A. Peck, M.D., dean of the medical school and executive vice chancellor of medical affairs, Brandi Lueken, president and founder of the American Pediatric Heart Fund and medical student Erica Freeman discuss how to raise awareness about covering the uninsured before a recent panel discussion at the medical school. The event was part of the weeklong “Cover the Uninsured Week” national public awareness campaign. Speakers emphasized important points such as 83 percent of the uninsured are working families and that 41.2 million Americans were without coverage in 2001. Lueken delivered a personal account of her ongoing battle with procuring health insurance with pre-existing heart conditions. Insurance companies have quoted Lueken $75,000 annual rates and have told her: “It’s cheaper to let you die than provide you access to care.”