Health Insurance Giant Like Enron, Tea Smokers Throw Temper Tantrum at Town Meeting

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The Right likes to spread urban myths about the horrors of Canadian health-care. I wonder if Canadians tell true stroies about our greed driven corporate rationed health-care, Blue Cross praised employees who dropped sick policyholders

The state’s largest for-profit health insurer told The Times 18 months ago that it did not tie employee performance evaluations to rescission activity. And executives with Blue Cross parent company WellPoint Inc. reiterated that position today.

But documents obtained by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and released today show that the company’s employee performance evaluation program did include a review of rescission activity.

The documents show, for instance, that one Blue Cross employee earned a perfect score of “5” for “exceptional performance” on an evaluation that noted the employee’s role in dropping thousands of policyholders and avoiding nearly $10 million worth of medical care.

WellPoint’s Blue Cross of California subsidiary and two other insurers saved more than $300 million in medical claims by canceling more than 20,000 sick policyholders over a five-year period, the House committee said.

Blue Cross’s use of rescission reminds me of George Bush’s old friend Ken Lay of Enron and how the Right thinks of the average American,

In another conversation apparently recorded around the time of the presidential election of 2000, a trader asks about “all the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers of California.”

The same trader soon talks of the “grandmothers” now demanding refunds from the overcharges.

That prompts a second Enron trader to respond: “Yeah, Grandma Millie, man. But she’s the one who couldn’t figure out how to . . . vote on the butterfly ballot.”

And he adds, “She’s the one that Al Gore’s fightin’ for.”

Another recorded conversation has Enron traders speculating about the advantages of a Bush election, including the elimination of price caps on wholesale electricity and the possibility of naming former Enron Chairman Ken Lay secretary of energy.

Some Democrats are not much better. Why or how the future of heath-care reform came to depend on Sen. Max Baucus(D), Chuck Grassley(R) and Olympia Snowe(R) coming up with a plan is as much of a mystery as why Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid(D) is letting Baucus do his Nero impression. What Is Max Baucus Doing?

That’s created a huge amount of uncertainty at the center of health-care reform. Baucus is the key senator on the key committee. And very few know what he’s doing, or why it’s taking this long, or what the sticking points are. House Democrats are terrified that they’ll take a tough vote on an aggressive health-care reform bill only to see their legs cut out from underneath them when Baucus emerges with a tepid — but bipartisan — alternative. Senate Democrats are furious that Chuck Grassley and Olympia Snowe have had more of a role in the process than they have. And above all, everybody is confused.

Reid could, metaphorically speaking of course, knee cap Baucus, but because of this entrenched beltway mentality that puts seniority and hill power plays above doing what’s right, he will just let Max play games. Most Americans and a vast majority of Democrats support heath-care reform. A public-option isn’t perfect, but its a step in the direction that Max’s party wants him to go. He’s pandering to small subset of very conservative Democrats and corporate interests.

Lead Birther Bill Sponsor Votes To Recognize Hawaii As Obama’s Birthplace. The birthers will live on, just as those people that think the Apollo moon landing was staged on a back lot in Houston. Though it takes a lot of wind out of their sails when even the birthers in Congress give it.

The House resolution to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hawaiian statehood — which included language recognizing the state as President Obama’s birthplace, in a none-too-subtle jab at the Birthers — passed this evening by a 378-0 vote.

Recently Senator Sen. McCaskill(D-MO) sent someone from her office to have townhall type meeting to get public feedback on health-care reform. It didn’t work out too well because some of the crowd was so rowdy they couldn’t have anything that resembled a civil discussion. Sen. McCaskill decided to give it another try and pretty much the same result. In a very strange attempt to make Sen. McCaskill look bad a right-wing blogger named The Gateway Pundit posts two videos of right-wingers disrupting the meeting. The first one shows some people in the back shouting. Making it impossible to actually have a meeting and an exchange of opinion. You can also see quite a few people seating quietly and looking a little peeved that the meeting is being disrupted. This is Gateway’s proof that Sen. McCaskill and her representative are awful people. So moving on to video number two where those tea smokers really show their grasp of the facts, their ability to exchange ideas, voice concerns and generally act like civilized human beings. The meeting, for some bizarre reason was moderated by a Carl Bearden who belongs to the right-wing astroturf organization Americans for Prosperity. So one woman gets up and angrily protests and I paraphrase from the video ‘ are the members of congress going to be on the same plan they’re asking us to be on’. The video ends there with a round of applause from the astroturfers. Since that blogger and his commenters just thought those videos rocked, we can assume they thought a battle was fought and they won. Those that shout the loudest win. That video was a giant leap for truth and honor in public debate on policy? Only it was short on facts and a brazen display of ignorance. Congress in has a very nice public health plan. An option that is not available to most Americans. That woman and the rest of America is forced to pay for it. Totally unlike the public-health option currently on the table in Congress. Its obvious the Right doesn’t feel the need to acquaint themselves with facts before working up a little hateful rant. It appears that hate is blinding. Two comments from that Gateway Pundit post,

Dead beats and poverty pimps all want more SLOP. Libtards and morons go along, because they are too stupid to see where it leads.
So they all follow the Pied Piper to Marxtown, where their gravy train unloads them into collective farms.
SURPRISE LIBTARDS, there is no free lunch, there is no FREE HEALTH CARE, you are DEAD WEIGHT, you will be eliminated under MARXISM.
It’s called DARWINISM, also knowns as LIBTARDISM.
gus | 07.27.09 – 10:00 pm

As Bill Maher recently explained the problem with the current health-care plan is that its a sop to corporate greed. We’ll still have Blue Cross around to give people like Gus the shaft.

Those of us who recognized Obama for what he is, 2 years ago, are now only frightened by the slow pace of America recognizing what has happened to them/us.
Banks taken over,
Insurance Companies taken over,
GM and CHRYSLER taken over.
800 BILLION plus interest wasted on LIBTARD PORK.
And Obama wants more.
It’s happened so quickly that DUMB FUCKS have not caught up to it yet.
gus | 07.27.09

Didn’t mean to pick on Gus, but he represents a lot of the sentiments expressed. This is your Republican movement and its grasp of facts and issues. Gus and his cohorts had blinders on and ear plugs in place when Reagan seized and bailed-out the Savings and Loan industry. Missouri got almost two billion of that pork, it may have helped a neighbor keep from losing their job or kept Gus’s bank from sinking. Missouri is spending a lot of the stimulus money on transportation projects and the roads those tea smokers used to get to their scream fest. Bush was the first one to initiate help for the auto companies. GM was happy to receive help so that it could reorganize and continue to serve the American owners of millions of GM cars and trucks. GM has also already emerged from bankruptcy. Its expected GM will repay its government debts by 2015. Its as though that far Right blogger, his followers and the deeply obnoxious right-wingers at the townhall meeting live in their own little bubble. I know some Republicans and I swear they are not all like that, but the ignorant, angry and woefully uninformed are the ones driving the conservative movement.

Related to the tea smokers, GOP Answer to ACORN Sounds Alarm on Socialism, But is Laughably Short on Logic and Spellcheck