As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just Trust Us

(This is part of my work as a blogger fellow for Brave New Films' Sick For Profit campaign)

Rattled by their failed effort to kill health care reform, Karen Ignagni, the head of the health insurance lobby, took to the Washington Post today to claim, no, really, we love reform, trust us!

Let me be clear and direct: Health plans continue to strongly support reform. In fact, last year we proposed new insurance market rules and consumer protections to achieve universal coverage, remove restrictions on preexisting conditions and end the practice of basing premiums on health status or gender. We firmly believe that all the cost concerns the report raised can be resolved.

Practically every option Ignagni brings up to "resolve" those cost concerns, like killing the excise tax on high-end insurance plans, would only exacerbate them by draining the system of resources and eliminating cost controls.

Furthermore, the entire notion that the industry supports health care reform is ludicrous on its face. They are the cause of most of the practices that need reforming. If they supported reform they wouldn't sustain a system that led to outcomes like this:

Jenny Fritts was 24 years old. Jenny lived with her husband Sean for the past five years, and together they had a little girl named Kylee, 2. Jenny was seven-and-a-half months pregnant with her second child – a beautiful, baby girl.

Jenny is dead. Jenny’s unborn baby is dead. They died because they were turned away for appropriate care at a for-profit hospital because they did not have health insurance. Sean rushed Jenny back to another hospital when her symptoms became even more severe, and he lied about having insurance to get her in the door. She was placed on a respirator in intensive care, but she didn’t make it. She died. And so did her baby.

They become two more of the more than 45,000 Americans who die preventable deaths due to our broken healthcare system every year. Two more. Mother and child.

Nor would they tell mothers that they must be sterilized in order to qualify for health insurance:

It's completely outrageous for someone like Ignagni to even open her mouth about reform. The entire premise should be rejected. The industry has lost their right to speak on the issue.

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