Real-life ‘Norma Rae’ dies of cancer after her health insurance refused to cover her medications

ThinkProgress—Crystal Lee Sutton, whose courageous efforts organizing Southern textile mills inspired the award-winning 1979 film “Norma Rae,” passed away on Friday after a long battle with brain cancer. Sutton’s story is particularly tragic because after fighting her whole life for rights of working Americans, her health insurance wouldn’t cover the medications she needed:

She went two months without possible life-saving medications because her insurance wouldn’t cover it, another example of abusing the working poor, she said.

“How in the world can it take so long to find out (whether they would cover the medicine or not) when it could be a matter of life or death,” she said. “It is almost like, in a way, committing murder.”

Although Sutton eventually received the medication, the cancer had already taken a toll on her.


Filed under Media and Entertainment, Medicine

3 responses to “Real-life ‘Norma Rae’ dies of cancer after her health insurance refused to cover her medications

  1. politicalmenus

    We are so glad to see this being talked about. What we have been amazed at is the lack of recognition that the oh-so-feared “death panels” and “rationing of care” used to scare people are already in existence and widely used by the health insurance industry. That is what a “pre-certification” is….. a panel of distant company employees deciding if you will receive the care you need.
    Keep up the good work.

    • welcome,

      This push for health care reform is the top issue @ 44-diaries right now.. it’s the “fierce urgency of it’s long past due” 🙂

    • Audiegrl

      welcome 🙂

      Its a shame that the Insurance companies, Republicans, and Fox News are able to manipulate gullible people into protesting against their own best interests. When health care reform could help them and millions of other people in this country. We all have a responsibility. We can’t let them keep telling lies. We have to shine a light on it.

      That Crystal Lee Sutton, of all people, died because of insurance company greed, should be a wake-up call to everyone, even the folks protesting against health care reform.

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