Insurance companies are human, too | Arkansas Blog

Friday, August 28, 2009

Insurance companies are human, too

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2009 at 6:46 AM

Do you think so? NY Times talks to the poor demonized employees of Humana about being depicted as bad guys in health insurance reform debate. Really? To hear the 'baggers, you'd think there's no way to improve on private health insurance in these United States.

Your thoughts?

Mine is simple: Unlike U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, I'd rather have a federal Medicare employee reviewing my claim for health care reimbursement (standing between me and my doctor, in Ross' words) than the employee of a private insurance company.

UPDATE: Op-ed provides first-hand testimony from a former insurance company executive (he worked for Humana, among others) on how his employer built profits by holding down payments for sick people.

Mr. Potter says he liked his colleagues and bosses in the insurance industry, and respected them. They are not evil. But he adds that they are removed from the consequences of their decisions, as he was, and are obsessed with sustaining the company’s stock price — which means paying fewer medical bills.

One way to do that is to deny requests for expensive procedures. A second is “rescission” — seizing upon a technicality to cancel the policy of someone who has been paying premiums and finally gets cancer or some other expensive disease. A Congressional investigation into rescission found that three insurers, including Blue Cross of California, used this technique to cancel more than 20,000 policies over five years, saving the companies $300 million in claims.

Mike Ross isn't stupid. He can only be dishonest -- and a purchased tool of the medical lobby -- to say the things he says about health care. Let Wendell Potter tell you about the people who are REALLY standing between you and your doctor.


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