Pro-private-insurance trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans(AHIP) has dangled a new carrot before Congress, using self-employed women like me as pawns to kill any chance we’ll ever see affordable government-sponsored or single-payer healthcare.
Last November, AHIP president and CEO Karen Ignagni began trying to derail healthcare reform by offering to stop cherry-picking customers so only the healthiest and least likely to need it could qualify for individual insurance.
In March, she offered to stop charging ill people more, but quietly replaced illness with age as a reason to jack up premiums, disingenuously slipping insurers a means to hit everyone with hefty annual rate increases, ill or not.
Now, in the individual market where insurers can get away with anything, she’s admitting they typically charge women 25-50% more than men as punishment for having uteruses.
Ignagni now agrees with Senator John Kerry (D-MA) that screwing women is wrong and is offering “not to recommend continuing it.”
Senator Kerry, with all good intentions, has naïvely introduced a bill to prohibit insurance companies from using gender to set premium rates. But he’s just playing into insurers’ hands because they’ll simply increase men’s premiums to match women’s.
Can you say “Ka-Ching!”?
Congress, instead of rewarding the AHIP’s duplicity with lame “reform” that throws all Americans into the insurance pool to be devoured by these sharks, you need to recognize these tactics for what they really are:
Bold-faced admissions of an industry’s longstanding unethical practices and unconscionable discrimination for profit at any cost.
The only civilized response to “deals” like these is to shove universal healthcare bills HR.676 and S.703 down Karen Ignagni’s throat and eliminate all such double-talking, self-serving, useless leeches from the equation.
P.S. If anyone out there thinks you can scare me with “rationing,” go get yourself some individual insurance, visit a doctor, file a claim, and see how much of it, if any, gets paid. THAT’S rationing. We have it right now, thanks to the insurers Ignagni represents.