December 22nd, 2007
05:25 PM ET
15 years ago

Edwards invokes Nataline Sarkisyan death

CORALVILLE, Iowa, (CNN) - In his stump speech assault on entrenched corporate interests and health care companies Saturday, former Sen. John Edwards invoked the recent and controversial death of Nataline Sarkisyan.

Sarkisyan is the 17-year-old girl who died Thursday night at UCLA Medical Center, shortly after her health insurance company reportedly reversed its decision not to pay for a liver transplant.

- CNN's Carey Bodenheimer

Filed under: Healthcare • John Edwards
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. J Williamson Bufalo, NY

    John Edwards is the most smart and hard-working Dem out there. Everything he has (via his trial work, etc.) he got the old fashioned way – HE EARNED IT! Unlike the Bush dynasty which hands down it's wealth and privelidge to its less than stellar offspring (read Geo W., but there are many more) Edwards came up from an extremely modest background. Repubs talk of America as being the land of opportunity, etc., etc., but when a Dem makes it to the big-time (B. Clinton, Edwards) they can't stand it. Keep on with the health care talk, Mr. Edwards – it's making the HMO leader-ship upset that their golden-apple cart may soon tip over.

    December 23, 2007 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  2. VB, Oakland, Ca

    John Edwards is not doing anything inappropriate by making comments about America's corporate interest in our so called health care systems. Americans are forced into paying for a corporate scamming system that is ironically and systematically abusing everyone of us. So much so that a family now has to bury their 17 year old daughter. SHAME ON YOU CIGNA!Every politician should take a stand and let us American's know what they think. How else can we make in informed and intelligent decision when we step into the voting booth?

    December 23, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Tony Almeda, Los Angeles, CA

    Earth to Alice Newman: it is painfully obvious that you lack broad mental capacity and suffer from severe tunnel vision. Jacque Bauer's comments clearly refer to the disgusting way that Johnny Trial Lawyer continually uses human tragedy (such as his son's death and wife's terminal illness) for his own selfish gain. Bauer's comments had nothing to do with the specifics of this case but that, as almost any clear thinking person will echo, Edwards has absolutely no compassion for this individual either (other than how it can get him votes). Remember Edwards' statements to John Kerry (twice!) about the death of his son – if you are not aware of this, I suggest you find out. It was (in Kerry's own words) "chilling". He is an utterly pathetic dirt bag...

    December 23, 2007 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  4. Ryan, Georgetown Texas

    Shame on you John Edwards for thinking that you can use the honest, valid concerns of the American people to get elected. The right thing to do would be to get elected based on noncontroversial topics, to stay in the shadows, and to cow to the inane ramblings of morons that think it's "tacky" to talk about death.

    Edwards knows and cares about the concerns of the common man and woman. Nataline's death is really the perfect example of what is happening, not just to the United States' impoverished citizens, but also to its middle class citizens as well. The rich are getting richer and everyone else is getting poorer.

    December 23, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. Raman, Plano TX

    The cost of a liver transplant currently averages about $280,000 for immediate hospital and doctor expenses. Necessary pre- and post-operative expenses bring the total to about $314,000 and in some especially complicated cases much more. Follow-up care in the years after a transplant is an additional cause for concern.

    Even patients whose transplants are covered by insurance find that they must raise a substantial part of the funds needed for their treatment themselves. The American Liver Foundation (ALF) established the Transplant Fund Program to assist patients and families in this essential task.

    For more helpful details you can visit:

    December 23, 2007 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. Independent in IA

    This is low, even for THIS Ambulance Chaser. He doesn't give crap about the Sarkisyan family. He's just wising he could get a piece of the 'pie'.

    December 24, 2007 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  7. Jim, Hickory, NC

    "Everything he has (via his trial work, etc.) he got the old fashioned way – HE EARNED IT!"

    Posted By J Williamson Bufalo, NY


    OH, you mean like the Kennedy's, John Kerry, John Rockefeller and the like? Come on, enough of the class warfare horse****?! Enough of the Good Dems, Bad Repubs nonsense. Edwards is nothing but an opportunist, looking for the big strike. Do you honestly think he is philanthropist living in a 28000 SF mansion that is surrounded by shanty trailers. That is beyond absurd.

    December 24, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Ajay Jain

    Edwards can try all the issues, raise any objection, run all the 527 third party ads, but with public money he is no match for Hillary and/or Obama in 2008.

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 26, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. M. Mitchell

    Just because she was on the transplant list does not mean she could have gotten a liver. She had only been on the list for two weeks, and sometimes it takes months or years to get a compatible organ. She had leukemia. She was not an otherwise healthy person. I'll just bet there's more to this case than meets the eye and it will come out when it goes to court.

    Edwards IS a trial lawyer, after all, and made his millions by suing the pants off corporations, who pass these expenses on to the consumer. Thanks a lot. I suppose it will be the sport of the day now for trial lawyers to go after big insurance companies, just like it's been a sport to go after the drug companies. I'm not saying that the insurance industry is perfect and doesn't need to be reformed and regulated – – it does. However, suing them for millions, and in the end having the average Joe paying for it is not the answer.

    Also, I notice that her parents got the same lawyer that defended Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson. Nice.

    January 7, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Steve A

    There is nothing worst than a parent loosing a child. Especially in a country like the USA. Insurance companies must be forced to put lives before profits. I want the Sarkisyans to know that everyone is proud of them for having the courage to create awareness on an issue that resonates with so many people across the country. Every Presidential candidate must do what they can to create awareness and find real solutions for our health care issues.

    Nataline was an amazing child. She touched so many lives while on earth and now she continues to touch lives while in heaven.

    January 8, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  11. Independent Thinker

    Here are other perspectives related to this issue:

    January 11, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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