From Health Justice Commons (HJC): For Complete Post, Click Here…
We’re launching a Medical Abuse Hotline to honor Carrie Ann’s legacy and defend our communities. Learn more about the Hotline vision HERE!
On February 24th, 2019, Carrie Ann Lucas, a beloved and renowned disability rights attorney and trailblazer who innovated representation for parents with disabilities, died after being denied a $2,000 medication for a lung infection by her health insurer, UnitedHealthcare. Lucas was forced into taking a less expensive medication she was known to be allergic to, resulting in a rapid health decline with numerous hospital stays over her last year, and causing her to lose the ability to speak. Her Facebook obituary notes, “UnitedHealthcare’s attempt to save $2,000 cost over $1 million in health care expenses over the past year.” More importantly, it cost Lucas her life.
Lucas gained national attention in June 2017, after staging a multi-day protest with other Atlantis ADAPT (based in Denver) members inside the Denver office of Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to demand republicans cease efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Carrie Ann resisted arrest by refusing to tell police officers how to operate her motorized wheelchair. Learn more about Carrie Ann’s life and work.
The Health Justice Commons mourns and rages for this tragic and profoundly unjust loss.
In the days leading up to her death, Carrie Ann was also forced to ration her insulin. According to a recent study from the Yale Diabetes Center, 1 in 4 Americans with Diabetes engage in insulin rationing due to skyrocketing prices and the complicity of health insurers, the majority of those rationing have health insurance.
We know abuses like these, and their deadly consequences, are part of business as usual of US insurance companies, especially UnitedHealthcare (which was #5 on Forbes 2018 Top 500 list of richest corporations).
UnitedHealthcare You Can’t Hide: Check out the class action lawsuit UnitedHealthcare lost in March 2019 for withholding life-saving treatment from people seeking mental health services.
Withholding access to healthcare or live-sustaining medication is medical torture. It profoundly violates our most basic human rights and dignity. Withholding access to healthcare is one of the most prevalent and pervasive forms of social control and institutional violence of our times.
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To honor Carrie Ann’s legacy, we’re launching a national Medical Abuse Hotline to expose how common medical abuse truly is, hold health insurers and institutions accountable, and create community-led, system-wide solutions! OUR SURVIVOR STORIES MUST BE HEARD!