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This morning, much to my delight, Paul Krugman has devoted his column in the New York Times to the UnitedHealth racketeering lawsuit I wrote about yesterday.

In a column entitled The Health Care Racket , Krugman exposes the corruption and criminal activity at UnitedHealth which led to this lawsuit.

Is the health insurance business a racket? Yes, literally — or so say two New York hospitals, which have filed a racketeering lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group and several of its affiliates.

I don’t know how the case will turn out. But whatever happens in court, the lawsuit illustrates perfectly the dysfunctional nature of our health insurance system, a system in which resources that could have been used to pay for medical care are instead wasted in a zero-sum struggle over who ends up with the bill.

You can read Krugman's entire column at this link for free:

Yesterday, SteveL asked early in that diary why I hadn't found any MSM outlets writing about the story?

I notice you've quoted none of the so-called(22+ / 0-)

MSM outlets. Are they "black-balling" this story, do you think?

by SteveLCo on Thu Feb 15, 2007 at 05:44:14 AM PST

After some reflection I think the more focused question is, why hasn't the New York Times written about Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and Flushing Hospital Medical Center, the two small New York hospitals forced to take on UnitedHealth a predatory and corrupt organization?

And for those of you who don't live in New York, these are two really tiny hospitals--we're not talking about NYU Medical Center.

What a great David vs. Goliath story.  But the New York Times remains strangely silent, except for Krugman.  One Kossack mentioned yesterday that this new lawsuit was old news.  This is wrong.  The federal RICO lawsuit is brand new news, Krugman's column is proof of this. And if the plaintiffs are successful, it will deal a serious blow to this murderous organization. Murder by Spreadsheet.

The unanswered question is why hasn't the newspaper of record, the New York Times provided news coverage of this important story?  SteveL, I have no answer.  Ask Judy Miller, perhaps.

This is in marked contrast to the reporting by the Los Angeles Times on the corrupt and criminal activity of Blue Shield of California.  Hardly a day goes by, that there is not a lengthy story about Blue Shield and the ongoing tragedies inflicted by this Murder by Spreadsheet organization on the West Coast.

This morning, Lisa Girion a relentless reporter at the Los Angeles Times, who should receive a Pulitzer for her ongoing coverage of the retroactive denials at Blue Shield of California, has yet another heartbreaking expose. She's documenting the continuing Blue Shield atrocities, and we all owe her a debt of gratitude.

This time, the retroactive recision involves, yes, diarrhea.

Blue Shield sued over revoked insurance
At issue is the insurer's leaving patients without coverage after they have been hospitalized.

A college student who was dropped by Blue Shield of California after he was hospitalized sued the health plan Thursday, asking a Los Angeles judge to order it to stop canceling the policies of people who get sick and submit claims for treatment.

The request for a sweeping injunction is the latest twist in an escalating controversy over a practice that is widespread and has left thousands of California residents with big medical bills and without coverage. As a series of recent Times articles showed, Blue Shield and its competitors routinely drop policyholders who get sick and run up medical bills.

The suit came as state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner disclosed for the first time that his office was reviewing Blue Shield's practices and was prepared to take action if it found problems.

"I am very concerned about the practice of post-claims underwriting," Poizner said in his first comments on the issue since taking office last month.

. . .What makes the latest suit unusual is that it seeks to force Blue Shield to stop the practice, rather than demand compensation for a policyholder who lost coverage. It could have a wide effect if it succeeds because Blue Shield alone has acknowledged canceling about 300 policies in the last two years. The outcome also could influence other insurers that collectively have revoked thousands of policies in recent years.

"They are breaking the law, and they are ruining lives in the process," said William Shernoff, the Claremont lawyer who filed the suit and represents scores of other policyholders in rescission complaints. "This could put a halt to everything and make them change their ways."

The case concerns college student Justin Sigman, who filled out a Blue Shield application online in January of last year and was approved, with his wife, two days later. In late June, while visiting relatives in Texas, Sigman became ill and vomited for a week. That led to his hospital treatment for gastroenteritis and dehydration.

The hospital bill for more than $9,000 was sent to Blue Shield, along with a medical history indicating that Sigman had suffered from bouts of diarrhea in the past, according to the suit and his lawyers. Sigman contends that he was unaware it was significant enough to include on his application for coverage. In addition to the broad injunction, Sigman is asking the court to reinstate his coverage.

SteveL, as I said, I don't know. Or like so much with the MSM, they are continually days late and woefully inadequate.  But thanks to Krugman, perhaps now, we'll see them pay a little attention.

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but I was under the impression that the healthcare catastrophe was an issue of some concern to the American people.

Originally posted to nyceve on Fri Feb 16, 2007 at 05:16 AM PST.

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