In this article published in the Huffington Post, Wendell Potter, Senior Fellow on Health Care for the Center for Media and Democracy, writes that the health insurance companies are scheming to further weaken the already weak provisions of the new federal health care reform legislation. Potter, a former executive for insurance giant CIGNA, explains how the insurers are working to get around the law requiring that they spend at least 80% of what they collect in premiums on medical care.
Potter’s revelations prove that the health insurance industry cannot be trusted to treat patients fairly. They must be removed from the healthcare system entirely. It’s in the nature of corporations to seek profits wherever and however they can, and if that means enlisting the help of friendly lawmakers to undermine reform, they will do so. If you let sharks keep control of an essential service as health care, you’ll only end up with shreds.
Health Insurers Leaning on State Insurance Commissioners to “Reform” Reform
The nation’s biggest insurers — not happy with provisions of the four-month-old health care reform law that would force many of them to spend more of the money they collect in premiums for their policyholders’ medical care — are pressuring regulators to disregard what members of Congress intended when they wrote the law, so that they can keep raking in huge profits for their Wall Street owners. If they are successful, many policyholders will soon be shelling out even more than they do today to enrich insurance company shareholders and CEOs. Billions of dollars are at stake, which is why the insurers and their symbiotic allies are pulling out all the stops to gut a key part of the law that would require them to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar they take in for medical care.
Wall Street financial analysts are pretty confident the insurers will ultimately have their way with the commissioners and, in so doing, stiff consumers. They have good reason to feel confident: As the Center for Public Integrity reported this week, (and the increasingly irresponsible mainstream media ignored), five of the nation’s biggest for-profit insurers — Aetna, CIGNA, Humana, United and WellPoint — are considering using $20 million of their policyholders’ premiums to set up a new group to influence how government agencies regulate them, as well as to help replace Democrats who voted for reform with more industry-friendly candidates.
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