July 16th, 2009
01:16 PM ET
5 years ago

Real battle over health care reform about to begin

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As President Obama presses the House and Senate to finalize their own versions of health care reform, the real battle over the issue is just heating up - and it's about to get very personal.

Before Washington takes another step on health care reform, Hilda Sarkisyan wants the politicians to hear her story.

"If we don't change this now, my story is going to be their story," she says.

Sarkisyan's 17-year-old cancer-stricken daughter Nataline made national headlines when Cigna, the family's health insurance company, denied coverage for a liver transplant in late 2007.

The Sarkisyan family made repeated appeals at news conferences. Cigna initially declined to cover the operation, then reversed its decision. Nataline Sarkisyan died hours after the company's reversal.

Full story


Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Regardless of what bill gets passed, it's going to need to have a public option. No ifs, ands or buts about it. My solution for the employer-based insurance is that the employees should wait it out. Eventually people are going to disenroll from these private insurance companies and either join the public option or get a plan of their own. The private insurance companies will feel this in their pocket. It sucks if they have to layoff some of their employees, but it will force them to lower their premiums.

    July 16, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. katiec

    We desperately need health care reform.
    Thousands upon thousands have to file bankruptcy due to medical costs and many, many die because they cannot affrod health care attention.
    We can no longer allow big business, lobbyists, special interests and those who support them run our country and make crucial decisions for us.
    We have the highest health care costs in the world, yet rank 30th in care and performance. If left up to the insurance companies, drug companies, AMA and hospitals our health care will continue to decline. Greed and power overtook integrity and honor which is obvious these last few years. There will be no reform without
    goverment intervention.
    Contact congress, the house and let them know you demand they represent us and do what is right for our welfare. This is too important to ignore.

    July 16, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. R in Maine

    The DEMS need to realize that that they were voted in with a real, veto-proof majority and begin to stomp on Repubs, and on any Blue Dogs that they happen to see. There is no need to sneak up on them, Just Do It.

    July 16, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Jon

    I have to say, the Sarkisyan's story is very sad.

    However, if she had received a liver transplant, what would her life expectancy have been? Given that there are only a handful of liver transplants each year, if she received a transplant, would someone who had a better chance of survival, not received a transplant? What is the probability, with her disease, that her body would not reject that liver?

    In the end, it boils down to a cost-benefit analysis. Congress passing health care reform will not change that fact.

    July 16, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Candy West Virginia

    Why are republicans willing to spend trillions on an illegal war or bailing out the banks or even rebuilding a foreign country yet don't want to spend a dime on Americans?

    July 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. Enlightened Voter

    Thank you President Obama for tackling an issue that has been ignored by the republicans.

    July 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. sifto77

    worse things happen in Canada–people are put on "waiting" lists and a committee decides who gets life-saving treatment and who does not. If you are older, single or deemed "not as valuable as another person to society" you plummet to the bottom of the list–tell the whole story–not just a "snippet". You single out one case and expect everybody to get out the kleenex.

    July 16, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    It is truly amazing how Congress and the Senate have the best health care in the world, the people or the TAX PAYER of the America pay for. But they don't want the same health care system for the rest of American. Think about it for a mintue before you say I don't want the same health care plan

    July 16, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. Bob in Pa

    So by the sounds of this article Mr. Acosta, your saying that no medical procedure, no matter what would be denied or delayed under the proposed Health Care plan ?

    Buddy, I have some land with a beautiful view to sell you, high atop the Himalayas’

    July 16, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. johnnie

    What battle ,it is already won (CNN) it will pass ,because their is a 2010 election coming up. And the Democrats have controll of (BOTH) houses, which is the (MAJORITY). And the those so called (BLUE DOGS) better wake up and stop playing (GAMES). YOU blue dogs can be (REPLACED) with new ,young and (FRESH) Democrats easily. The american people want (HEALTH CARE REFORM) Prediction , The President will rally the (TROOPS) and those (BLUE PUPPIES) better be on board ,or be the borderline (REPUBLICANS) they really are. The is going to be a new (WAVE) of power that this country has never seen before,and that (POWER IS THE PEOPLE) You get that (BLUE PUPPIES)............

    July 16, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Republican

    Before this happens they need to fix Medicare and Medicaid. Get them straight and fis the fraud, waste, and abuse. Punish the violators and get more doctors to except the programs. Make them run efficiently so they don't go broke. Once the gov shows they can do that we can relook government run healthcare.

    July 16, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |