Insurance can cause more stress than cancer. The goal of your insurer — no matter how singular or complex your case is — is to try to turn you into a statistical cliché, a cipher, in the face of your very human flesh-and-blood disease. In the months after my diagnosis, as my wife and I struggled to find the right pair of highly-skilled hands to perform my potentially difficult surgery, wrestling with my insurer caused me more grief, stress and depression than my cancer did. In our modern health-care-industrial-complex — and I'm talking about the bureaucrats who try to herd you into the cheapest cattle car available, not the nurses and doctors who are on the front lines — the emphasis is neither on health nor care, but on the bottom line. It's our job, as patients, to resist with all our strength.
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