Many commenters poo-pooed my earlier posts about Anthem Blue Cross's intention to dramatically lower reimbursement rates for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy. Some said, "Physical Therapy? Who cares?" Others, of course, mocked my model in which the federal government might take any action to merely oversee or - gasp! - regulate the insurance industry (or any industry, for that matter; there are many who seem convinced that corporations are benevolent parents to us all).
I warned that Anthem's actions would be only the beginning of a terrible situation for everyone, and urged all readers to contact a number of Anthem and government officials, as well as print reporters. (Interestingly, while many of my posts here receive hundreds of responses, the one urging readers to take action received exactly 17.)
Now, Anthem Blue Cross is announcing raises in subscription rates of 30 to 39 percent, beginning March 1, 2010. That's after its parent company, Wellpoint, already announced record profits in 2009.
Lucky for Blue Cross subscribers, President Obama, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are publicly demanding explanations from Anthem Blue Cross.
Unfortunately for us all, there is nothing the law allows them to do, other than try to expose the horrific greed and inhumanity associated with these rate changes, along with reimbursement reductions (so long as they're not applied "selectively" to only some customers).
Let me be as clear as I can: Should Anthem Blue Cross succeed (as they are doing), your insurance company is going to quickly do exactly the same thing - to you, to your company, or to your union, when you or they purchase insurance. If you think not, you are deluding yourself.
THIS IS ALL HAPPENING BECAUSE U.S. CITIZENS HAVE NOT UNITED IN HUGE NUMBERS TO DEMAND A COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL BILL THAT ENSURES THAT HEALTH INSURERS CAN'T GET AWAY WITH THIS KIND OF PRICE GOUGING.
In fact, the difficulty of passage of such a bill thus far has made it clear to them that they can do whatever they like.
Short of single payer, European-style health care coverage (which, regardless of those who say otherwise, is by far the most successful public health care strategy every implemented on planet Earth, and is by far our best protection against such corporate greed) a strong, competitive option to buy publicly guaranteed insurance is the only thing that will protect people here.
I'm not kidding. Reconsider, if you've been opposed. Think again, if you've had reservations. Get involved, if you agree. Do more, if you've done anything already. Make calls, if you've only passed on these posts. Write letters, if you've only made phone calls. Raise your voice now, if you think you might ever need to see a doctor in your life, or we're all going to sink like stones on this.
Oh, and since I've written these recent posts, my Anthem Blue Cross insurance has begun denying portions of my medical claims, requiring lengthy, costly delays and appeals, in percentages I've never experienced before. I'm hoping it's coincidental.
READ MORE HERE.
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