It's an excuse for these insurance companies to avoid paying out these claims. It's why nyceve, one of our best healthcare bloggers, calls them the MURDER-BY-SPREADSHEET industry. They've helped kill three Americans every hour by denying them insurance coverage. That's 72 Americans a day that they've helped kill with this policy in America. And that's 26, 280 Americans that have died every year as a result of this intentional neglect.
This is the DEATH CLOCK created by one of our own kossacks, Dburn, showing how many Americans have died TODAY as a result of this "recission" policy by the murder-by-spreadsheet industry.
Here's more from this LA Times article, which everyone should read:
An investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations showed that health insurers WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group and Assurant Inc. canceled the coverage of more than 20,000 people, allowing the companies to avoid paying more than $300 million in medical claims over a five-year period.
It also found that policyholders with breast cancer, lymphoma and more than 1,000 other conditions were targeted for rescission and that employees were praised in performance reviews for terminating the policies of customers with expensive illnesses.
This murderous "recission" policy affects EVERYONE, even nurses. A nurse in the article lost her coverage, all because she failed to disclose a visit to the dermatologist for acne. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and had her policy cancelled as a result. That insurance company left her at great risk and financial cost in seeking life-saving medical treatment without insurance coverage.
AND THIS IS PRECISELY WHY WE NEED A PUBLIC OPTION! That's what Rep. Dingell said during the hearing, and I agree with him.
And this guy's right as well:
"This could reshape the debate," said Jerry Flanagan, a patient advocate with Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog.
"When insurance companies go under oath and admit they are canceling innocent patients when they get sick, it makes it very difficult for lawmakers to pass a law that requires every American to buy a policy or face a tax fine. It opens the way for a public option to hold the companies in check."
This is what will happen if we don't get a strong, robust Medicare-like public option in health care reform. We'll get a mandated bailout of the murder-by-spreadsheet industry by forcing us to get their junk insurance policies which we NOW HAVE NO GUARANTEE of actually getting covered if we get sick without a public option. They'll deny our insurance coverage, dump us onto another higher-cost junk insurance plan, and we'll die for the price of our lives to these insurance sharks.
And that new poll that just came out showing that 76% of Americans support a public option? These weakling Senators in the Senate are WRONG about there not being support for a strong public option!
Also, President Obama is WRONG when he says the Conrad co-op proposal is an acceptable alternative. It's not an acceptable alternative at all. Please CALL the White House and tell him to keep his promise about the public option and NOT TO SUPPORT the Conrad co-op proposal!
CALL the White House at: 202-456-1111 and E-MAIL them as well!
Tell them to STOP PLAYING POLITICS WITH OUR LIVES and pass an actual strong, robust Medicare-like public option in health care reform!
I've had enough of these Senate Democrats and Republicans playing politics with a strong, robust Medicare-like public option, which is now supported by 76% of Americans. We desperately NEED a strong, robust Medicare-like public option that is AFFORDABLE and OPEN to all Americans, and helps keep the insurance companies honest.
Mcjoan was right in her diary about why we NEED to pressure the HELP Committee members, and to prevent them from being rolled again. Here are the numbers of the HELP Committee and their members below along with the usual talking points.
First, start off with by telling these Senators you want a strong, robust Medicare-like public option THAT IS OPTION A, not OPTION B OR C [see below for three options in committee draft] in the mark-up of the draft legislation, and to include it when releasing the bill for a FULL CBO score, then go into these talking points below.
Tell Senator [Name] that you DO NOT want the 7-year trigger for the public option and take it off the table, and that you want him to support an affordable strong, robust Medicare-like public option. We NEED a strong, robust Medicare-like public option NOW OPEN TO ALL AMERICANS AND AFFORDABLE, not more of the SAME broken system that's given us unaffordable premiums, little private insurance coverage, and rising co-pays. Also, DON'T TAX OUR EMPLOYER HEALTH BENEFITS. Instead, follow the proposal by President Obama to tax the wealthy above $250,000, eliminate the overpayments in Medicare Advantage, and put tax capital gains to help fund health care reform. TELL YOUR SENATOR NO ON THE SCHUMER COMPROMISE AND NO ON THE CONRAD CO-OP COMPROMISE.
Tell Senator Dodd to STOP PLAYING POLITICS to appease the Republicans and release the details public option in the HELP committee bill draft!
CALL Senator Dodd at (202) 224-2823
You can e-mail the HELP committee as well here at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, don't forget to CALL these Senators on the HELP Committee with the talking points above and why you WANT the HELP committee draft to have a strong, robust Medicare-like public option, that is NOT THE SCHUMER COMPROMISE OR THE CONRAD CO-OP proposal!
Tom Harkin (IA): (202) 224-3254
Barbara A. Mikulski (MD): (202) 224-4654
Jeff Bingaman (NM): (202) 224-5521
Patty Murray (WA: (202) 224-2621
Jack Reed (RI): (202) 224-4642
Bernard Sanders (I) (VT): (202) 224-5141
Sherrod Brown (OH): (202) 224-2315
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (PA): (202) 224-6324
Kay Hagan (NC): (202) 224-6342
Jeff Merkley (OR): (202) 224-3753
Also, tell President Obama at the White House not to pursue bipartisanship for bipartisanship's sake with the public option as a bargaining chip in health care reform, especially when Rahm Emmanuel was the one behind the "7-year trigger" compromise proposal. Let's make President Obama know that we don't want the 15% that is traded away for "bipartisanship" to be the public option.
This is what President Obama has told visitors in private at the White House:
The president has told visitors that he would rather have 70 votes in the Senate for a bill that gives him 85 percent of what he wants rather than a 100 percent satisfactory bill that passes 52 to 48.
Tell President Obama not to sacrifice the public option for the sake of bipartisanship. It won't be real health care reform without a strong public option that helps keep insurance companies honest.
CALL the White House at: 202-456-1111 and E-MAIL them as well!
Please especially CALL Jeff Bingaman to support a strong, robust Medicare-like public option, and Kay Hagan to support a strong, robust Medicare-like public option!!!!
Please CALL Senator Max Baucus at (202) 224-2651
Please CALL Senator Olympia Snowe at (202) 224-5344
Please CALL Senator Charles Schumer at 202-224-6542
Please CALL Senator Edward Kennedy at (202) 224-4543
Please CALL Senator John Rockefeller at (202) 224-6472
Please CALL Senator Ron Wyden at (202) 224-5244
Please CALL Senator Kent Conrad at (202) 224-2043
Please CALL Senator Jeff Bingaman at (202) 224-5521
Please CALL Senator John Kerry at (202) 224-2742
Please CALL Senator Blanche Lincoln at 202-224-4843
Please CALL Senator Debbie Stabenow at (202) 224-4822
Please CALL Senator Maria Cantwell at 202-224-3441
Please CALL Senator Bill Nelson at 202-224-5274
Please CALL Senator Robert Menendez at 202-224-4744
Please CALL Senator Thomas Carper at (202) 224-2441
Also, can you please CALL these THREE chairmen in the House of Representatives, especially Rep. Waxman who's leading the charge on health care reform below?
Ways and Means Committee Chair Charlie Rangel (202) 225-3625)
Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (202) 225-2927)
Education and Labor Committee Chair George Miller (202) 225-3725)
TOLL FREE NUMBERS FOR THE SENATE, HOUSE, AND WHITE HOUSE:
Capitol Hill 800-828-0498
Remember again, this is the three options for the public option in the HELP Committee draft:
Option A: A public health insurance plan operated by the Federal government with a payment schedule that is set in statute and is based on Medicare.
Option B: A federal health insurance plan that is operated under contract from HHS but would play by the same rules as commercial health insurance carriers. The federal government would contract with an entity to administer the plan as well as provide start-up costs (e.g., 6 month reserve). The plan would be required:
(1) to be a non-profit or cooperative entity
(2) charge premiums at a level to cover costs of paying claims, making quality improvements, and administering the plan and (3) re-pay initial start-up costs. Every state gateway must offer the federal public plan. In addition, States would be permitted to operate their own public plan if the plan meets requirements established by the Secretary.
Option C: Drop public plan option. [That's it. That's the whole thing.]
I'm in favor of Option A in the HELP Committee draft, which is basically a strong, robust Medicare-like public option.
If you want a strong, robust Medicare-like public option, then the time to fight is here and NOW! Let's not stop on making these calls!
A strong, robust Medicare-like public option is the line in the sand for me. Is it the line in the sand for you as well?
Please REC this diary up so others can see the phone numbers and make the calls today! Also, please ask your friends and family to CALL today! The more people that call, the better it will be for the public option in health care reform.
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