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When You Are Denied Health Insurance

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Jacqueline Ruess was lying on a bed inside a hospital in Boca Raton, Florida, still woozy from anesthesia but hoping that, maybe just this once, she'd caught a break.

She'd had laparoscopic surgery in order to examine a growth her gynecologist thought might be ovarian cancer. Ruess, who was 34 at the time, in the fall of 2001, feared that her two young boys, whose father died from a congenital heart defect three years earlier, were on the verge of losing her as well.

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