Monday, December 7, 2009

Insurance Company Pricks

Because I am in that kind of mood, the health care companies continue to give us no reason whatsoever to let the status quo remain:

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, which is a lobbying group representing 39 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, is also engaged in this two-faced campaign. Like most of industry, the BCBS Association says it fully supports the concept of health reform, but continually demands drastic changes to the bills in Congress. Some have begun to question the BCBS Association’s claim of support given its new study attacking reform legislation in the Senate. The criticism of BCBS is bolstered by a new revelation that BCBS Association lobbyists are helping to orchestrate a right-wing movement to invalidate all of health reform.

Yesterday, the BCBS Association released yet another industry-sponsored study to distort health reform and falsely claim that premiums will skyrocket because of the legislation. However, the nonpartisan CBO reported earlier this week that under the Senate health reform bill, “most Americans would pay the same or less in premiums.” A New York Times editorial yesterday criticized BCBS Association’s study, and noted correctly that it is yet another example of the private insurance industry doing whatever it can to frighten Americans.

But while the study certainly damages BCBS’ credibility, BCBS is involved in another anti-health reform ploy that they do not bother to promote on the BCBS website. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), founded in 1973 by conservative activist Paul Weyrich, is a DC-based front group which helps state lawmakers craft corporate-friendly legislation. As the Atlantic has noted, ALEC developed template health care “states’ rights,” legislation to declare aspects of health reform unconstitutional. ALEC has promoted this “tenther” legislation using its network of mostly far right Republican state lawmakers. The bills, which have been adopted in some form in 24 states so far, aim to invalidate federal regulations of health insurance, the public option and the individual mandate using the Tenther Amendment.

I would also like to remind you that Aetna, a darling of a company, intends to drop coverage of some 600,000 people to save money and post better profits. Anyone defending these corporate entrails are pricks as well. It is time for people to start calling it in reality based terms; when an insurance company bases your health care coverage on profitably, distorts truths and lobbies Congress to perpetuate lies, they are undoubtedly pricks. And should be treated as such.

I am Frank Chow and I approved this message


sterno said...

when an insurance company bases your health care coverage on profitably, distorts truths and lobbies Congress to perpetuate lies, they are undoubtedly pricks

They are undoubtedly capitalists. The system has been designed in such a way that their profitability is enhanced by these actions. As proper capitalists they are doing what they are supposed to do: maximize shareholder value.

The only way to make a corporation act ethically is to align the rules of the game with ethics. If you make it so that insurance companies make the most profit by taking care of people's health then that will happen. If you leave the system as it is where taking care of people is actually in conflict with profits... well, let's just say you shouldn't be surprised.

Change the system and we won't have to trust these people to do the right thing. They do what they do, not because they are pricks, but because that's what we've told them to do. Tell them something else and maybe we'll get a workable health care system.

Asian-American Pundit said...

You call them capitalists I call them pricks. Tomato, Tomatoe.