Mike Madden at Salon recently wrote one of the best knock downs of conservative falsehoods about health-care reform – Five right-wing myths about health-care reform, and the facts. He’s back with The “death panels” are already here, Sorry, Sarah Palin — rationing of care? Private companies are already doing it, with sometimes fatal results
Reilling thinks she knows the reason for the cutoff, though — she was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2008. That kicked off a year-long battle with Anthem. First the company refused to pay for an MRI to locate the tumors, saying her family medical history didn’t indicate she was likely to have cancer. Eventually, it approved the MRI, but only after she’d undergone an additional, painful biopsy. Her doctor removed both of her breasts in April 2008. In December, she went in for reconstructive plastic surgery — and contracted a case of MRSA, an invasive infection. In January of this year, Reilling underwent two more surgeries to deal with the MRSA infection, and she’s likely to require another operation to help fix all the damage. The monthly bill for her prescription medicines — which she says are mostly generics — is $2,000; the doctors treating her for the MRSA infection want $280 for each appointment, now that she’s lost her insurance coverage. When she appealed the decision to cancel her policy, asking if she could keep paying the premium and continue coverage until her current course of treatment ends, the insurers wrote back with yet another denial. But they did say they hoped her health improved.
If we leave out the specifics everyone across the political spectrum has issues with “the government”. Yet we just had eight years in which conservatives acted like genuflecting stooges for everything the government did, see here and here. If anyone suggested that Bush’s surveillance program might have gone a little too far, besides violating the 4th Amendment and FISA, you were a terrorist. For all the incompetence, corruption, lies and abuse of power during those years, in which it seemed that government could not do anything right, two liberal government programs just kept on going as well as ever, Social Security and Medicare. We had an out of control presidency, a Congress that acted like a rubber stamp for any disastrous policy or criminal activity that Bush/Cheney engaged in. People still got their checks from Medicare. History has proved that good programs enacted for the common good do work, even with a cadre of incompetents and arrogant elitists in charge . Those social programs are not the slippery slope to fascism or socialism. One consistent aspect of American life, regardless of the party in power has been the greed and corruption of America’s corporate culture. Cigna executive whistle-blower spills the beans
In June 2007, Wendell Potter was head of corporate communications at Cigna, one of the largest health insurance companies in America, when he attended the U.S. premier of Michael Moore’s Sicko. Potter was part of the team charged with discrediting Moore’s film, which advance word said was highly critical of the health insurance industry. Potter “sat quietly in the back and took notes,” but soon realized he had a problem. “When I saw the movie, I’ll be honest: I thought it was a real good documentary. I knew from my own studies of other healthcare systems that it was an accurate portrayal of those systems and how they are able to provide universal coverage.” Yet he was being paid by Cigna to tell people the opposite, that the film was full of lies.
[ ]…Guernica: So in other words, corporate bureaucrats have a profit incentive to deny care to people who are enrolled in their plans.
Wendell Potter: Absolutely. It doesn’t have to be stated directly to them that you will be paid a particular bonus if you deny X number of claims; it’s known, and it’s part of the culture.