Time to Stake Vampiric Health Insurers with HR 676

By Karen

Anthem has had another week to get information on the freckle they’re obsessed with as they agonize over letting me have cheaper health insurance. They’ve already got me for $488 a month, so their reluctance to shave $110 in premium from their bottom line is understandable.

They’ve dragged my application into its third month – even though I’ve been their customer for 5 years. I think being 53 years old is working against me big-time.

When I called Anthem this week, they hadn’t yet bothered to request the freckle record. So I called the doctor’s office myself and got it faxed to Anthem in about 2 hours. When I explained the logjam to the doctor’s assistant, she said, “Yeah, that sounds like Anthem.”

My agent says insurance companies typically make customers scrounge up records, which the underwriters then try to use against them to deny coverage or jack up the rate.

Yesterday I called Anthem to make sure they received the freckle fax. The Anthem rep said, “Let me check. Sometimes it takes 24 hours.”

Twenty-four hours to receive a FAX? What do they use, tin cans and string?

But they had it. Then she said, “It’ll take 7-10 days for Underwriting to review it. Call back next week.”

Anthem obviously doesn’t realize that their abysmal, we-don’t-give-a-damn attitude just fuels my support for HR 676, the universal healthcare bill that’s been sitting untouched in Congress since February 2005.

Anyone who thinks healthcare today is just ducky, or that its problems can be solved by relying more on these arrogant, inefficient insurers, obviously has employer-paid coverage and has never been mired in the bottomless bureaucracy.

Clinton, Obama, and McCain, the solution has nothing to do with making more people buy insurance, or making it more affordable (“affordable” by whose definition?). The answer is HR 676, which mandates a single payer system that eliminates the role of insurance companies.

We should all be able to focus on getting the best medical care, not spinning our wheels on useless paperwork just to keep obstructionist insurance clerks in jobs.

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