Friday, July 3, 2009

Private Health Insurance industry doesn't want the Federal Government to take away their right to come between you and your doctor

I wish I could say that the arrogance and gal of the Private Health Insurance industry surprised me. But, it doesn't. A former Cigna executive says that he can't defend the private health insurance industry any longer and confirms what we already knew. They are "beholden to Wall Street."

One of the latest pro-private health insurance industry ads has a nerdy "Government" bureaucrat in the doctor's office standing between a patient and their doctor, interfering with the choices and decisions being discussed. In the article link above, Wendell Potter (now a Fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy), describes the last straw for him:

Potter started thinking about leaving Cigna in 2007 after he visited a
medical charity event at a Virginia fairground.

"It was almost like an electrical jolt," Potter said. At the
event, Potter took pictures of doctors offering free health
to the uninsured.

"The volunteer doctors were seeing patients in barns, people in animal stalls," Potter said. "It changed it for me."

He says he finally decided to quit in 2007 after Cigna's controversial
handling of an insurance claim made by the family of a California teenager, Nataline Sarkysian.

The Sarkysian family made repeated appeals at news conferences for
Cigna to approve a liver transplant for the 17-year-old, who had leukemia. Cigna initially declined to cover the operation, then reversed its decision.

Sarkysian died hours after the company's reversal.

As Cigna's spokesman during the controversy, Potter had no role in the decision to deny coverage. But he was inundated with angry phone calls.

"After she died, my voice mail and my e-mail inbox were just filled
with messages from people who were just outraged, " Potter said.

Private Health Insurers are our friends (snark!). They don't want the big, bad, Federal Government coming between you and your doctor (just as long as they can). This is exactly why we need to reform the current Health Care system. To be completely fair, I don't want the Federal Government doing anything remotely similar to what is described above, so it's important that this message is heard, loud and clear, by our Federal Elected Representatives. There needs to be some form of a public option because it is clear that Private Health Insurance has failed to keep premium cost affordable and they are the ones guilty of coming between the doctors and patients.

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