My future mother-in-law was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s covered through her ex-husband’s military insurance (known as Tricare). After initial tests, she was all set to go into the very excellent cancer center near her house when the Tricare folks called and said they were denying her referral and were going to make her use a not-at-all-nearby military facility. She’s had some very bad experiences at military hospitals and, besides, had two sons living at home, had little money to be spending on gas, and very unreliable transportation. And the Tricare administrator flat out said they were only denying the referral (and her subsequent appeal) to save some money, even though spending more money would get her better and more accessible treatment.
We felt this was unjust and helped her draft a letter to her Congressman. It was only one of many avenues we pursued and we didn’t put much stock in it. But a couple days after the letter was sent in, she got a call from the congressman himself promising an inquiry. And two days after that, the Tricare administrator’s office called her back and, without explanation, said they had changed their mind and would allow for a referral to any facility she’d like.
We can’t think of any other explanation for this other than the congressman putting a little pressure on the Tricare people. So just goes to show you, some of these people actually do care a lot about their constituents. Not bad, especially for a Republican.