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October 21st, 2009
05:55 AM ET

Insurer under fire for cutting coverage

Ian Pearl suffers from muscular dystrophy.  He uses a wheelchair and a ventilator, and in less than a month and a half he’s scheduled to lose his health insurance.  

His insurance company, Guardian, decided to cancel a series of old policies in three states, leaving Ian without coverage.  His family sued, and their lawyers discovered an internal company e-mail that referred to high cost policies like Ian’s as “dogs.”

The company has apologized, but for now, they’re going forward with their policy cancellations.  The Pearl family is appealing to the Obama administration for help – adding their voices to calls for health care reform.

Ian has a new battle cry: "I am not a dog."


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Deborah Exum

    Dear Jim and CNN,

    I thank you so much for coverage of Ian's story. As an Advocate for
    people with disabilities, I was so happy to hear about this story and
    the progress being made against the Insurance companys. The
    media attention you are giving on the subject of disability and the
    fight for equality is wonderful, and brought tears to my eyes.

    God Bless,
    Deborah

    November 6, 2009 at 7:19 am |
  2. mary in toronto

    I am not shocked or appalled by this story. It just supports my belief in the greed and self interest of the insurance companies at the expense of middle class America. I don't trust them. They actually seem to despise their own customers. The United States needs a public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  3. jay m

    The Insurance Industry is holding Americans hostage with their own bodies.

    October 21, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  4. Jim Torcaso

    This should be the top story of every American news media. Maybe if every American saw Ian's story they would realize why health care reform is so essential.

    October 21, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  5. Debra Wilson

    This is why we need a public option. You cannot expect a private insurance company to be nonprofit. They just can't survive. Insurance is a contract between the insured and the insurer. It is no more and no less. The insurance company assumes a risk, based on risk factors that it tries to control to the best of its ability. The insurance company has a re-insurer that assumes the risk of the insurance company. It is business. Insurance companies have to abide by the contract, and so do the insureds. We, the insjureds, try to make it into something it is not. It is not a big pocket with a heart.

    October 21, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  6. Dawn McCloud

    I am appalled by privatized health care which holds the lives of ALL Americans in the balance based on their legal right to protect their bottom line. Whatever governmental actions need to be taken to shift health care from the "privilege" category in to the "right" category should be done. This man's life should not hang in the balance based on the corporate bottom line.This has to change NOW!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  7. Matthew Pearl

    Ian Pearl is my brother and I want to thank CNN for covering this and those who watch and support Ian and those like him. I have created a page to help Ian's case, I hope some of you will visit and get more information and find ways you can help: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&viewas=0&gid=156839511657

    October 21, 2009 at 7:57 am |