Crystal Lee Sutton, whose labor organizing efforts inspired the movie Norma Rae, died September 11 in North Carolina at age 68. Her health insurance company denied her timely care that could have saved her life. Instead, the treatments she needed were delayed until her cancer had spread too far. Read more about her life and death here.
This is what profit-driven corporate bureaucracy does. The Facing South article does not identify which company denied timely care to Sutton, but it really doesn’t matter. They are for the most part cookie-cutter renditions of each other, operating by the mantra, “pay as little as late as possible.”
That is who controls health care in this country now–people who’d sooner let you die than pay their stockholders some fewer pennies dividends. And the stockholders? I regret not having made note of a recent reference to stockholders in one company trying to effect policy change because the profit motive was overtaking the company’s moral obligations. The idea that stockholders have moral obligations with respect to the companies whose stock they own is not new. Attention was paid to that issue during the Viet Nam war, and we need more attention paid to it in this present circumstance as well.
For now, however, please take a moment to honor the courage and life of Crystal Lee Sutton.