Affaire du coeur, Epilogue

Having opened the can of worms, Regence spent the next year getting it’s butt kicked in the press. The Insurance Commissioner also began using it as a political platform. Here’s a sampling of the articles that were published during that year.

Senn Battles Insurers On Er Coverage — She Faults 4 Major Carriers For Denying Claims Under Law
Tuesday, March 02, 1999 : Business
State Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn is waging a battle against health-insurance companies that she says illegally deny coverage of emergency-room visits. Senn wants the …

Insurance Carriers Criticized For Suit
Saturday, March 06, 1999 : Local News
What this is really about is, the carriers are angry. And they’re angry because they got caught.” Senn said Tuesday the state’s four largest health-care carriers should have approved …

Regence Blueshield CEO Tops List Of Best-Paid Health-Insurance Execs
Thursday, April 15, 1999 : Business
Deborah Senn’s annual list of executive salaries in the industry. His compensation represents a 20 percent pay raise over his 1997 earnings. Not far behind Dean was Premera Chief …

Nice Work If You Can Get It
Monday, April 19, 1999 : Business
Last week, the state Insurance Commissioner’s Office reported that Regence BlueShield Chief Executive Officer Richard Nelson made $386,003 in 1998, not including bonuses. That’s …

Regence Blueshield To Drop Plan Used By State Workers
Thursday, July 22, 1999 : Business
SEATTLE – Regence BlueShield has decided to stop selling one of its health plans to state employees and retirees. The company says its modified Selections plan has lost $32 million …

2 Big Insurers Stop Selling To Individuals — Group Health, Regence Opt Out
Wednesday, September 01, 1999 : Business
Chris Bruzzo, a spokesman for Regence BlueShield. “It becomes a statewide health-care problem.” Insurers losing money And this is why: In 1993, state lawmakers passed sweeping …

Regence’s Rate Filings May Have Violated Law, Senn Contends
Friday, October 15, 1999 : Business
Senn denied a Regence request to raise rates 28.1 percent for 55,000 people who buy health insurance individually, not through employers. At the time, Regence officials said they would…

Insurer Regence Denies It Manipulated System
Saturday, October 16, 1999 : Business
Regence asked four times for a 28.1 percent increase in rates paid by 55,000 people who buy health insurance individually, not through employers. Senn eventually agreed to a 25.8 percent…

Surgeons Dropping Regence; Patients Are Casualty In Fray With State’s Largest Insurer
Tuesday, December 21, 1999 : Business
Regence BlueShield, the state’s largest health plan. Regence covers about one in five people in Washington. The surgeons canceling contracts say that for certain procedures, they are…
The Insurance Commissioner used the story as a political platform…

Senn touts personal touch in her campaign for Senate
Sunday, August 20, 2000 : Business
Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, she leads an army of the sick and injured on the campaign trail – living testimony of her self-portrayal as a consumer advocate. There is Victoria …

Candidates aim at Gorton
Monday, September 11, 2000 : Business
Questions in the first televised debate between Democratic Senate candidates Deborah Senn and Maria Cantwell last night may have been about dams, farms and campaign finances, but Sen…

‘Concierge physicians’ medical model growing
Friday, May 28, 2004 : Local News
Seattle doctor, sounds like “something small and fluffy, for rich people.” Whatever it’s called, more and more doctors are charging patients retainer fees, allowing the doctors to see…

Senn’s past battles shape campaign for attorney general
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 : Local News
Deborah Senn’s bid to become Washington’s attorney general has morphed into something of an anti-campaign. Instead of offering the usual litany of groups who support her, the Democratic…

Paramount Pictures was briefly interested in doing a movie about our story.

Tory became something of an health care reform activist after the wedding…

A PATIENT SPEAKS OUT ON MEDICAL RIGHTS BILL.(News)
Subscription – Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Seattle, WA) – HighBeam Research – Feb 12, 1999
Also testifying at the Senate committee hearing was Victoria Doyle, a heart transplant recipient who recently won a battle with her insurance company, …

DEMOCRATS TRYING AGAIN TO GIVE PATIENTS MORE CONTROL OVER …
Subscription – The Columbian – HighBeam Research – Feb 12, 1999
Victoria Doyle, a heart-transplant patient from Tacoma, said she has had to fight for life-supporting medication since her 1991 operation. …

HMOs Go Under The Knife: America has perhaps the world’s best …
Subscription – Newsweek – HighBeam Research – Nov 8, 1999
Victoria Doyle, 42, who lives in Tacoma, Wash., describes herself as “a nightmare for the insurance industry.” Ever since her heart transplant in 1991, …

SENN BACKS DRIVE FOR PATIENT RIGHTS HEARINGS BEGIN NEXT WEEK ON …
$2.95 – Spokane Spokesman-Review – NewsBank – Jan 7, 2000
Senn and Schual-Berke were joined by heart transplant patient Victoria Doyle of Seattle, who lost insurance coverage for the drugs that keep her body from …

HOUSE OKS HEALTH BILL TO LURE INSURERS BACK BUT CONSUMERS MAY PAY …
$2.95 – Spokane Spokesman-Review – NewsBank – Mar 4, 2000
“Frightening,” said Victoria Doyle of Tacoma, a heart-transplant patient who has been following the individual insurance debate. …

Senn brings Senate bid to town
$2.95 – Bellingham Herald – NewsBank – Jun 25, 2000
On Saturday, Victoria Doyle of Brown’s Point in Pierce County and Dylan and Christine Malone of Everett came to Bellingham to try and convince those at a …

Tory’s efforts contributed to the Washington State Patient Bill of Rights.

Health Insurance – Patients’ Bill of Rights Protects Consumers
The Patients Bill of Rights for Washington (SB6199) passed the legislature with … Victoria Doyle of Tacoma is a heart transplant survivor who was abruptly …

To this day she continues to lobby on health care reform and insurance issues. Tory even briefly appeared on campaign commercial when Deborah Senn unsuccessfully ran for Washington state Attorney General. Tory’s part is when she says, “Thanks to Deborah Senn, I got the heart medication I need.”

I don’t think Regence ever knew that I started our little David and Goliath war. My involvement was quietly drowned out by all the noise, something I’m very happy with. This is the first time I’ve ever documented everything that happened.

The story still hasn’t ended, not really. We, amazingly, are entering into our seventh year of marriage.

We all face challenges in our lives. I guess the message here is don’t give up the good fight. “Something wonderful  (can come) from something terrible.”

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