Pubdate: Fri, 14 Aug 2009
Source: West Hawaii Today (HI)
Copyright: 2009 West Hawaii Today
Author: Barry Finkenberg


RIP Kimberly Reyes

If I were a religious person, my first question today would be: "When 
did God die -- and who appointed HMSA as his/her successor?"

What exactly was Kimberly Reyes' mistake? Was it taking a few hits of 
marijuana to alleviate her pain? Was it that she was of modest means 
and not a famous person? Or was it that she angered some bureaucrat 
at HMSA? If Ms. Reyes had applied for a medical marijuana license, 
would she have been rejected for a new liver? My guess is that HMSA 
would have found some other "reason" to reject her claim.

Just prior to his passing, Mickey Mantle received a new liver while 
his blood was probably 90 proof. He was much older than Ms.Reyes, a 
boozer, not a doper and obviously had a different health insurance 
plan. Yet, Mantle received a precious transplant, jumping ahead of 
many people on the waiting list, while Ms.Reyes was refused. Is this 
how it works in the wealthiest country in the world? It is indeed the 
golden rule: You have gold, you rule.

Thankfully, I do not have to deal with HMSA. I am a very satisfied 
patient with Kaiser and feel lucky to have it as my insurer.

And to all you teabaggers out there protesting any kind of health 
plan reform: I know you don't want the government involved in your 
health care decisions, but is it okay that some guy hiding behind a 
desk can decide who lives and who dies based upon their own view of 
morality and a profit and loss statement?

It is not okay with me. What happened to Ms. Reyes should never, 
never occur again.

My heart goes out to the Reyes ohana.

Barry Finkenberg

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