So dear old dad desperately needs a kidney, and the docs say you're the best fit. Tough luck, writes Nicholas Kristof in a look at the case of David Waddington, whose two sons can't donate—because pre-donation screening might reveal to insurance companies that they have the same genetic condition he has.“At the time David needed a transplant, the people closest to him couldn’t even offer a lifesaving donation—for insurance reasons,” Waddington's wife tells the New York Times columnist.
But because Waddington's sons dared not get tested, they also couldn't get medication that could stave off the disease—until one ended up in the emergency room with, you guessed it, kidney disease. So while Congress has "first-rate health care for themselves and so perhaps don’t appreciate how their posturing forces people like the Waddingtons into impossible situations," Kristof hopes "they can find it in their hearts to overhaul the disgrace of the industrialized world." (Read more health insurance stories.)