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Carey Reeve
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This is why insurance should not be a business.  Medicine should be socialized.

My friend, Zoë Keating, is a musician, wife and mother. Recently, her husband was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He is Vegan, and has never smoked anything in his life.

Zoë writes:

On May 13 an MRI found 20 tumors in my husbands brain. On May 15 he could barely breathe and was in a lot of pain. A CT scan that day revealed he had a softball-sized tumor in his lung, tumors in his other lung, his liver and possibly his bones. On our way home from the imaging center our primary care doc called and told us to turn around and get to the hospital right away. My husband was admitted and they promptly removed more than a pint of fluid from his lungs, which helped him breathe better. We were there for 6 days while they performed a bronchoscopy, did more scans, gave him drugs to stop his brain from swelling and administered emergency chemo.

Zoë and Jeff submitted their claim to their health insurance provider, Anthem Blue Cross. Their claim was reviewed by an OB-GYN instead of an Oncologist for some reason, and that person decided to deny their claim:

"Coverage for the requested service is denied because the service does not meet the criteria for “medical necessity” under your description of benefits. To assist our Medical Director in making this decision, we have put a process in place to send all information about the service to a clinical reviewer with appropriate credentials. Based on their opinion, we have determined that covered for the requested service is denied. Our Medical Reviewer Layma Jarjour MD has determined we cannot approve your hospital stay for cancer. We do not have enough facts to show that it was medically necessary. "

Jeff was admitted to the hospital because he had cancerous tumors all over his fucking body, his lungs were filling with fluid, and if he was not admitted, he. Would. Die. For some reason, Medical Reviewer Layma Jarjour MD decided that this was not "medically necessary."

If putting someone into the hospital to save their life because their lungs are filling with fluid and that person will die if they are not treated immediately is not "medically necessary", what is?!

Zoë pointed out that "Anthem is owned by WellPoint. Did you know Wellpoint CEO Joseph Swedish earned almost $17 million during his first year on the job? Now you know how they can afford to pay him."

I hope that, by shining some light on this, Anthem Blue Cross will reverse its decision, and honor their claim. They are suffering enough right now, and don't need this crap.

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You will notice Jet Li is one of the judges. The kid is amazing, but the very best bit is the question and answer section at the end.

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A reminder to open our eyes to the difficulties of the world and the importance of being bluntly honest about what they are and what we can do about them:
We live in a world of limits and partialities. We only live so long, our experience only goes so far, we only have so much control over ourselves and our environment. When people who expect certainty and control over their lives are suddenly confronted with their limits, this can cause extreme fear and extreme action to regain the illusion of control.

We are living in a time when more people than ever can cocoon themselves in an illusory sense of security. Death and suffering are portrayed as exceptional. Science and the internet cause many people to feel all problems are answered or at least have simple answers coming soon.

Oversimplifying what the problems are and then oversimplifying solutions is immensely dangerous, particularly when they are clothed in rationality or sanctity. We still have scientists and ethicists who are proponents of eugenics, feeling that it is "rational" to terminate some babies for the benefit of genetic vigor in the human population. We have people who fear various forms of sexual expression, then clothe their answer to remove what frightens them in some form of spiritual righteousness.

I know of many people who when feeling disempowered or vulnerable will pin all their fear and hatred on something they see as "the problem". I know of environmental groups who I will not join, because even though I completely agree with their concerns, they have become a hate fest where every negative emotion they have ever felt has found a place for venting. When this happens the solutions start becoming skewed, people are alienated from the cause, the group itself can become isolated, embattled, and begin to exert its desire for control on its members.

I regularly upset people because I won't take an absolutist stand on various topics. Alarm bells go off for me every time a group portrays others as either sub-human or super-human. We are all human. We are all capable of good, we are all capable of bad. I will do my best to give others a chance to practice good wherever they are.

The world is facing serious environmental and economic problems. Now more than ever people need to cooperate. That means learning how to talk with one another, learning how to empathise, learning how to negotiate our differences, and learning how to express universal friendship. I completely agree with the Bronies: friendship is magic.

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Cats are goofy :-)
Happy 25th Birthday World Wide Web! Wassup with all the cats, btw?!

Tim Berners-Lee surely knows about #caturdayeveryday  !

[Photo Credit: Amy E. Price via +Getty Images] 
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Wow... I guess it should be common sense that increasing blood flow leads to better brain function.
The next time you're prepping for a big exam, don't skip your morning workout. A little activity prior to the test might do you some good:

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A very cool Facebook page (IAmUU) has made a Standing On the Side of Love T-shirt design that begins with the line, "I am a Unitarian Universalist."  It looks like a great shirt, and a part of the profit will be donated to the campaign.

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This is fabulous. This is why I am Unitarian Universalist. I don't want to show up, nod along, and head home thinking "Church was comfortable and easy to digest." I want a religion that seeks to manifest good in the world. I want us to be more and more "positional" and involved in our communities. Too many people seem to come to the UU church because they know the church will support the things they already care about; the church will let me be an eviromentalist; the church will help me work for LGBTQ rights; the church will let me be a Jesu-wiccan (stolen term). They come to be themselves, which is practically our sales pitch, but they don't come to be changed or challenged. To many UUs don't allow themselves to be inspired to do more by their faith. I want that to change.

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