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 An Interview with Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Page 3 of 3)

An Interview with Debbie Wasserman Schultz

 

DWS: Probably the most important advice is to give the person that you are caring for the space that they need. If they need you to be right there for them, then do that. But, when they need you to back up and give them a little bit of room, do that as well. Sometimes caregivers can be very smothering and sometimes they do not realize how much someone needs them at that moment. So try communication with the person you are caring for and be aware that person’s brain has not left them; they do generally have the ability to make their own decisions about how much assistance they need. That is probably the best advice that I could give them. Also, help them with advocacy. I happen to be a strong willed and knowledgeable person and I know that I am able to speak up for myself. But what happens with patients is, especially when diagnosed with a serious illness, you put your life in the hands of your health care providers. You do not know anything about what is wrong with you and you trust that the health care advice you are getting from your physician is the right one. A caregiver can assist the patient in getting more information, asking more questions, empowering the patient to push for access to health care that perhaps the physician or the insurance company is not providing. So just being there in an advocacy role to help the patient be an advocate for themselves is incredibly important.

GB: Those are two terrific answers. Also do not take easy no’s. That is what we
find from insurance companies and from doctors.

DWS: I do not accept no as an answer. Every insurance company has an appeals process. Their job is to minimize the access to coverage that you get and your job is to maximize the coverage that you paid for.

GB: We always say the four most important words are, “Who is your supervisor?

DWS:  Exactly, that is absolutely right; and tell them to hang on because universal health care is coming.  Our goal is to pass legislation out of Congress this year and send it to the president; that will create a universal  health care system that will give everyone access to coverage they need and deserve.

 

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