Author: Hugh Ellis
ISBN: 978-1-4392-2377-2
Publisher: Hugh Ellis (Booksurge)

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What if your precious wife died from rare complications during pregnancy? That would be a tragedy and you would be shocked and grief stricken. But if the same woman could have been saved, but had been denied care by a callous, cost-cutting healthcare management organization, that would be a different story. Your sorrow would quickly turn to rage and a desire for justice.

This is the situation that Bob Mitchell finds himself in, in Hugh Ellis's blockbuster novel, Blue Vendetta, when his lovely, 28-year-old wife Julie finally gets pregnant, after trying fertility drugs. Everything is going along smoothly and the couple is ecstatic until Julie begins to experience strange pain under her rib cage. Her otherwise excellent obstetrician Stephen Basil is perplexed. He knows that something is wrong with her laboratory levels, so he calls "Blue Star," the HMO.

Like most corporations, Blue Star is more interested in profits than people. Their dynamic CEO, John Markman, grew up with a modest family income, and vowed that he would not want for anything again. At Blue Star, Markman spent 90% of his time investing the hard earned money that people paid for premiums, to pay for essential health services, or so he claimed. Meanwhile, Markman earned a $250,000 quarterly bonus for saving the company millions of dollars. How did he save that money? By denying as many services as possible, and not adequately informing doctors or subscribers that there was an appeal process.

To complicate this, Blue Star had been granted immunity from medical liability by the government, which was simply trying to make it easier for employers to insure more people. So, Markman and his team felt secure denying legitimate requests, and Stephen Basil's request for further tests for Julie was one of them. The Catch-22 for Dr. Basil was that if his diagnosis had been proven correct, the company would have paid for the tests. But an MRI could have cost $10,000 or more. That's quite a stretch for a physician to go out on a limb by ordering the scan, because if the test had been normal, the cost would have come out of Dr. Basil's pocket. Consequently, Stephen Basil did not order the proper test for Julie Mitchell and she died unnecessarily. But her husband, Bob, just happened to be the District Attorney in Allen County, Indiana, so he sued the HMO in an unprecedented case, charging the corporation with murder.

Blue Vendetta is a powerful story and a page turner. It is clearly biased against profit-based medical insurance, and we have little sympathy for the company that takes cold and calculated actuarial risks with real people's lives. The characters are well developed, although I would have liked another chapter or two on Julie, so that I could have gotten to know her better before she died. There is an exceptionally well researched courtroom scene. The book gets off to a strong start, loses momentum about two thirds of the way through, but has a powerful finish. It is a well-written, engaging and thought-provoking drama that is particularly pertinent for the times.

 Click Here To Purchase Blue Vendetta