Time to demand a Congressional investigation of the health insurance industry

Cross-posted from Daily Kos

I am certain, as I'm sure most of you are, that the corruption within the health insurance industry is as widespread and flagrant as what was discovered at criminal companies like Enron and Arthur Anderson.

As we know, the denial of bona fide claims is routine. The situation is do dire and so grim that essentially you file a healthcare claim fully expecting that it will be denied. Then you decide will you fight them or cave in. Many Americans simply cave in, hence the illegal denial of claims has become the business model for the insurance industry.

Everyone asks what will the Democrats do when they control the House and can madate testimony under oath--what we must demand is a thorough and wide-ranging investigation into the criminal business practices of this predatory industry.

For example, as everyone knows and I have written about extensively, Blue Cross of California has a retroactive review department. The criminal company routinely denies the legitimate claims of its enrollees who get sick and require expensive medical care.

Wellpoint/Blue Cross is being sued by California hospitals for what appears to be a general systematic cancellation of high-cost member policies. It's very important to point out that Wellpoint/Blue Cross doesn't seem to be investigating the applications of those members who don't make expensive claims.

But in order to short circuit regulators and a more intense probe of its criminal activities Wellpoint Blue Cross is settling with some of its enrollees.

You should be shocked and outraged to read what is being reported in the Los Angeles Times this morning.

Facing the threat of punishment from regulators, Blue Cross of California has agreed to settle more than 70 lawsuits and claims filed by patients who accused the state's largest health insurer of illegally canceling their coverage after they got sick.

The settlements will allow the former policyholders to pay hefty medical bills that they were stuck with after losing their insurance.

. . .In exchange for the money, the patients agreed to drop allegations that Blue Cross had terminated their coverage to avoid paying for treatment.

The accords could be part of an effort by Blue Cross to deflect public criticism, mollify regulators and avoid courtroom showdowns, although critics say the insurer still needs to reform its practices.

. . .Blue Cross, owned by Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., the nation's largest provider of health benefits, maintained that it was following the law. It declined to comment on the suits, saying talks to settle them were confidential.

Just imagine the amount of money Wellpoint Blue Cross laid on these people for the lawyer representing them to say what he did. Must be a shitload. Blue Cross wants the regulators to disappear.

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NycEve: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 3:15 PM, Oct 18, 2006 in
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