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Remember Nataline Sarkisyan?

Well here we go again.

We're facing an eerily similar situation.  A phone call from you may help save another child's life from the depraved indifference of Pacificare.  Who owns Pacificare? Who else?  UnitedHealth.

Here's the background.

I've received several urgent emails from the heroes at California Nurses Association about this developing situation.

Today I'm going to tell you about Nick Columbo. Nick is only 17 years old and has Ewing’s Sarcoma (bone cancer). His insurer, Pacifi care death, is denying him a treatment which doctors think may save his life.

The family and the nurses are  urgently appealing to the public to call PacifiCare at 714-828-1821 or Tyler Mason, the UnitedHealth/Pacificare spokesperson at 714-226-3530 and demand they provide the care Nick needs.

Looks like we have another young insured American being denied lifesaving care by the insurance company which is supposed to pay the bills, not be the arbiter of who lives and who dies.  In fact, we have millions of Americans with health insurance who are routinely and regularly denied care. This is business as usual--the status quo in the United States.

This particular case, may generate some much needed media scrutiny into insurance industry abuses, that's why it's important you know about it.

Here are the emails I received from the California Nurses Association.

Just received a call from Ricky Columbo.  His brother Nick has cancer, and the treatments thus far have been ineffective.  The docs recommend cyberknife. Insurance won’t pay.

He is organizing a protest outside the Pacifica Care building in Cyprus, Ca next Tuesday at 10.  He heard CNA did this kind of thing, and would like CNA to come and support the effort.  He says he has already rallied a bunch of people to come to it, thinks there is going to be a big crowd.

He has also spoken with Dave Lopez at Channel 9, who is supposedly covering it.

Here's another just received:

Just spoke to the young man, Ricky, 19.  Nick, this boy with Ewing’s Sarcoma (bone cancer) is only 17 – The mother works long hours preparing taxes for people and cares for the son before she leaves; the father then comes home earlier in the day to care for his son.

They have had a local TV reporter to their home to interview Nick and are hoping to get more attention to push PacifiCare.

Donna Smith
Communications Specialist
California Nurses Association

Let me tell you a bit about Pacificare. Sit down and take a deep breath--a very deep breath.

Hospitals Rank UnitedHealth/PacficiCare "Worst" Insurance Company in Nation

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based insurer received an "unfavorable" opinion from 91% of the hospital executives who responded, while 8% gave it a "favorable" rating. United owns PacifiCare of California.

The company is being investigated by the state of California.

California investigates 100,000 claims processing problems by Pacificare

But the profit picture for UnitedHealth is right on target. How can this be, you must be asking yourself?  Because denying care to sick policy holders like Nick Columbo is what fattens the bottom line. Insurers take our money then deny us care. This is a crime.

UnitedHealth/Pacificare Looking at 13% Growth

UnitedHealth Group Inc., the largest U.S. health insurer, is poised to reach its forecasts of 13 percent profit growth this year and next, even after being accused of cheating customers by New York's attorney general.

Remember the lying, stealing and cheating UnitedHealth CEO, William McGuire? Let me remind you.

Former CEO of UnitedHealth had to surrender ***$620***million in pay for options backdating scandal

Had enough?

Where are our elected officials?  Where are the regulators?

Pacificare fined $3.5 million

"This is off the scales in terms of severity. We rarely see so many complaints," said state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. "I simply will not tolerate shoddy claims practices."

Everything you're reading is business as usual. In the United States, desperately ill people with insurance have to organize demonstrations and mobilize the media, in order to get the Murder By Spreadsheet insurance industry to approve and pay for treatment.

This is Ricky Colombo's plea on behalf of his brother Nick, posted on the Guaranteed Healthcare/California Nurses web site.

My Story:
Demonstration planned: Save Nick and get him the procedure
This is Nick’s older brother, Ricky, and I want to ask all of you for a huge favor. Our insurance company, PacifiCare, denied Nick to go to Kansas City for a special treatment of radiation for his cancer (this could save his life). Nick has suffered with cancer for 4 years of his life and he has exhausted every avenue to get better, but nothing worked. This is our last effort and this procedure has worked before with people in Nick's situation. I think it is our duty to stand up for Nick and tell PacifiCare that what they are doing is wrong.

I am putting together a demonstration in front of the PacifiCare building at 5701 Katella Ave Cypress, CA 90630. Tuesday, March 25th, at 10:00 a.m. We are getting the media to step in and put pressure on (kcal9 and newspapers).

If we can at least get 300 people there I know they will have to say something about it. I know that my brother isn’t the only one suffering because of America’s poor healthcare system.

If you guys know anyone else that is suffering because of this, have him or her come out too. We need to let not only PacifiCare but America know that what they are doing is wrong and we need change.
Thank all of you so much.  

Ricky Colombo

If you want to assist this desperate family, you might contact UnitedHealth.

The family and the nurses are also urgently appealing to the public to call PacifiCare at 714-828-1821 and demand they provide the care Nick needs.

You can also call this guy:
Tyler Mason, 714-226-3530--spokesperson
Main #: 714-952-1121

Then, you can move on to investor relations:

UnitedHealth Group
P.O. Box 1459
Minneapolis, MN 55440-1459
Ph. (800) 328-5979

Investor Relations Contact:
Cheryl Mamer
UnitedHealth Group
9900 Bren Road East
Minnetonka, MN 55343

Ph. (800) 328-5979
Fax (952) 936-1819

Here's contact information for Pacificare:

Contact Information
Telephone Numbers
Main Telephone Number: 1-800-624-8822
Hearing Impaired (TTY): 1-800-442-8833

If any of you can find a phone number to the Pacificare or UnitedHealth PR department, please post it and we can give them a call.

You also might send this to the campaigns of Senator Obama, Senator Clinton and even Senator McSameMcBush, so they know how most Americans (with insurance), live--and die.

Originally posted to nyceve on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 08:50 AM PDT.

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