A new video puts denied health insurance claims on United Health Care CEO Stephen Hemsley's doorstep.
The video, made by Brave News Films' Robert Greenwald, intercuts stories of people suffering because of denied claims with images Hemsley's fancy homes, along with details about how much money Hemsley's got ($744,232,068 in unexercised stock options, for example).
Holly Bailey says in the video that United Health Care refused to pay for medicine she couldn't live without.
"They kept telling my local pharmacy...'Oh we're just waiting for one more letter, or we're just waiting for one more script, and then we'll start paying,'" Bailey said. "This went on for six months, and December 4th both the pharmacy and I received a letter from United Health Care saying they deemed it medically unnecessary and that they were not going to pay any of it.
"I tried to explain to them that if I do not have this, I will die. And the only response she gave me was, 'OK.'"
Joanna Joshua, whose child's treatment was denied, asks, "Stephen Hemsley, how are you able to sleep at night?"
The piece aims to gin up the sort of pitchfork-style outrage against health insurance CEOs that so beset Wall Street executives after their industry was bailed out by the government.
"It's definitely similar and in some ways worse, because these are dollars are literally being taken away from you that could help save lives in order to build bigger mansions," said Greenwald in an interview with the Huffington Post. "We hope it will begin a part of the discussion that has not happened: Who is gaining from the current system, and why are they resisting?"
Along with the video, Greenwald's group unveiled a website detailing compensation for five other health insurance company CEOs.
United Health Care said in a statement that the company supports health reform and making coverage available to all Americans.
"Reforming and modernizing health care is serious, complex work not advanced by attack videos or rhetoric, so we will continue to focus productively on expanding coverage for all Americans," the statement reads. "Health companies, such as UnitedHealth Group and its peers, were among the first of the stakeholders to come to the table with a comprehensive proposal to reform our own sector. Our industry's proposal brings everyone into the system, guarantees coverage for all Americans, does away with pre-existing condition limitations, and ends rating based on health."
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