Tag Archives: Karen Ignagni

Greed gone wild – Insurance companies go after the Baucus Healthcare ‘Lack of’ Reform Bill

There is something definitely wrong with the Democrats.  They have a huge majority in the House and Senate AND the White House.  Poll after poll show that the people support a public option.

So this headline from the AP should have been baffling.  “Dems scramble after warning from health insurers.

I’ll tell you, it got me to open this article.

WASHINGTON – Insurance companies aren’t playing nice any more. Their dire message that health care legislation will drive up premiums for people who already have coverage comes as a warning shot at a crucial point in the debate, and threatens President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

When did the insurance companies ever play nice?  They do have their facts straight however.  This bill presented by the Senate Finance Committee and Max Baucus will drive up premiums.  This bill was written FOR the insurance companies.  Now they’re pulling this crap?!?

The insurance companies served up a nice slow pitch and this is how the White House, AARP and Max Baucus responded!

“This is a distorted and flawed report from the insurance industry and cannot be taken seriously. This so-called analysis appears on the eve of a vote that may eat into the insurance industry’s profits. It conveniently ignores policies that will lower costs for those who have insurance, expand coverage and provide affordable insurance options to millions of Americans.” – Reid H. Cherlin, a White House spokesman.

“Distorted and flawed.” – White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass.

“Fundamentally dishonest.” – AARP’s senior policy strategist, John Rother.

“A hatchet job.” – A spokesman for Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana.

The Democrats criticized the report.  They need to go after the insurance companies.

I so wish the Democrats had some stones.  They should have said ‘yes – this legislation will drive up the costs – because we are catering to the insurance companies.  Want to keep the price down – kick them out of the mix.”

“No more CEO salaries.  No more senior management salaries.  No more corporate profits.  No more lobbyists.  No more Congressional fundraisers.”

How many insurance companies are there?  You do the math.  Millions and millions saved annually.

Our premiums remain about the same and EVERYONE gets coverage.  We could pay for the uninsured and all of our co-pays with the millions saved in salaries, profits, lobbyists, advertising, and so on.

In addition to the insurance companies, we have the pharmaceutical companies who charge Americans more for our medication than they do the rest of the world.  Figure out how much money Big Pharma spends annually on advertising alone – those 30 second spots where we have to hear the list of potential side effects.  That after they tell us that if you cough you may have some horrendous thing that could kill you so you need to take their medication.

People actually have to take other medication to deal with the side effects from other medication.  This is lunacy.

Bring in Medicare for all – dump the insurance companies and tell Big Pharma that we’re no longer going to pay their insane rates for medication.  Period.

The Lobbyist firm, America’s Health Insurance Plans says on their website “Supporting Bipartisan Reforms.”  As long as it doesn’t interfere with the corporate profits.

AHIP’s President and CEO is Karen Ignagni.  She seems to have the most power in this healthcare reform debate.  As the top lobbyist for the insurance companies, she definitely doesn’t have the best interests of Americans at heart.

Karen Ignagni

Karen Ignagni

According to Money, Ignagni made (I purposely didn’t say earned) $1,236,432 in 2006.  Numbers in 2008 vary but including salary, bonus and deferred compensation she easily surpassed $1 million.   It does look like she earns the money the insurance companies pay her and her company.

Do we really want people like Ignagni fighting the battles against us?  We need to kick the lobbyists out of Washington and the first step is to set up Medicare for All, take healthcare away from the insurance companies and lobbyists and turn it over to Americans and their doctors.  It IS as simple as that.

The greed from the insurance companies is amazing.  They could have easily banded together to propose a fair and competitive process where each company submits their plan choices and all Americans can review each option, selecting the plan best suited for them and their family.

When we talk cost, how much money do we already have deducted from our paychecks to cover the insurance premiums?  All that remains is covering the uninsured.  I doubt that would cost $800 billion.

But the insurance companies have pissed me off so I no longer want an option that keeps them around.  I want a Medicare for All plan.  Before the Bush Administration privatized part of Medicare, older Americans had a great thing going AND it was run by the government.  Wow socialized medicine.

And the VA is socialized medicine too and Bill Kristol said on The Daily Show that US veterans had the best medical coverage in the world.

So enough is enough.  Time to take back our health from the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

More angering items from the AP story:

“We’ve got ourselves a real health care shooting war now,” said Robert Laszewski, a former health insurance executive turned consultant. “The industry has come to the conclusion that the way things are going in Congress, we’ll have a … formula that will be disastrous for their business, so they can’t stand on the sidelines any longer.”

First of all, the insurance companies haven’t been on the sidelines.  They have been utilizing their lobbyists and had significant influence on the wording of the Baucus bill.  Second, they want the status quo and are totally unwilling to give up anything in this compromise.  Americans are already being asked to give up quality and cost effective healthcare so these greedy companies can continue to rake in the profits.

“The misleading and harmful claims made by the profit-driven insurance companies are politicking for corporate gain at its worst,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

You think?

The politicians in favor of the single-payer (Medicare for All) system need to band together and get the word out.  They need to organize their constituents to come out and fight for what is right for all Americans.  We know the media is behind the insurance and pharmaceutical companies as they would like to keep their advertising revenue.

Another huge issue I have is that this bill won’t be fully in effect until 2013!   Notice that it’s set to go AFTER the next presidential election.  Can we really wait another 4 years for this garbage plan that solidifies the insurance company’s stranglehold on American’s health?

Worse still, this bill will only cover 94 percent of eligible Americans up from 83 percent today.  Can the 6 percent really afford not to have healthcare coverage?

How is this healthcare reform?  As I’ve said before – this bill is healthcare reform without the reform.

We need a bill that will cover 100 percent of Americans.  Anything short of that is pure failure.  Anything that permits companies to deny coverage and stand between Americans and their doctors is unacceptable.

I’m sick and tired of Americans having to fight their insurance companies in order to get coverage for life saving medical treatment.

This has got to stop.  Americans need to fight back.  If our elected representatives will not take up the fight for us in Washington, we need to throw them all out.

In Greed We Trust