I am here writing this welcome in part because I once made the head of the department dealing with my medical insurance claim cry. The why or where doesn't matter right now. Let's just say I was seriously ill, the bills for a medication I needed to live were seriously confusing, and my toddler standing beside bald, 95-pound me was too much for the department head to take.
On the spot, she forgave page after page of charges. A decade-plus later, I still think she did so partly out of kindness, mostly because even she couldn't make sense of all those billing codes and dollar signs.
I am part of No Patient Left Behind because the person who decided to launch NPLB read my tweet about her tears and got in touch. He said he liked my motto: Never take no from an insurer. He said he wanted someone with that kind of fight. His exact words were: Righteous fury.
Two weeks later, we were a team.
I love that story. It tells you so much about NPLB's intentions, objectives and spirit, which isn't "can-do" as much as "will-do."
NPLB is actively working to make medicines and treatments affordable to everyone in America. We are championing new laws to get insurance companies to do away with copays and out-of-pocket expenses. We are pushing for reforms to guarantee that drug companies let their drugs go generic when they’re supposed to do so.
I am proud to be tasked with pulling together a crack team to tell your stories, provide real resources to patients, determine who is responsible for our nation's healthcare mess, and explain how everyone can do better. We promise to be fair, which is not the same as being non-partisan. We have a side. It's yours, the side of the patient.
I understand better than most that not everyone has the time and tenacity to pack up snacks, toys, and a toddler to do battle over a medical bill. Not everyone has the skills to track down the one person who can turn a medication denial letter into an authorization form. Not everyone has the scientific know-how on hand to recognize when a drug is too complex to go generic and needs another way to drop in price.
But I do. We do.