“Hatchet job” was Senator Max Baucus’ (D-Mont.) assessment of the report just released by lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Makes you wonder why he’s killing himself trying to protect their profits at our expense.
AHIP claims Max’s plan would raise rates — by $1,700 for families and $600 for individuals — by 2013.
So what’s their point? Without reform, rates routinely increase more than $600 every year.
Obama should feel the knife sticking out of his back while AHIP’s head cheerleader, Karen Ignagni, smugly hints that TV attack ads may be coming. The sheer gall of this complete 180 would be mind-blowing if we weren’t talking about the most useless, greedy, wasteful industry ever conceived.
But perhaps insurers just did us a favor. Cornered, maybe Congress will finally consider the only means guaranteed to reduce costs — HR3200 or HR676 — single-payer plans that make insurance obsolete.
Who could possibly care about the future of an industry that just denied a policy to a 4-month-old baby for the “pre-existing condition” of being fat?
Nobody wins with insurers. When rising premiums forced me to become underinsured this year, I got my prescriptions filled by Target instead of Anthem’s mail-order pharmacy — and guess what? Anthem had been overcharging me, selling a 90-day supply of my meds for $36 that Target sells for $20.
Target initially submitted its charge to Anthem, which Anthem immediately denied, but they said I could only have a 30-day supply.
I basically told Target, “F**k Anthem. Give me 90 days and don’t tell them.”
That means my prescriptions don’t go toward my $2,250 annual deductible and Anthem wins in the end. But I’ll be damned if they’ll dictate terms while not paying a penny.
Insurers planned to sink reform all along. With a clear conscience, Obama and Congress should respond to this duplicity by establishing universal, single-payer healthcare.