If you relied on the Washington media for your news and information about health care, you'd think that insurance companies would never have considered sending policy discontinuation notices to their policyholders until forced to do so by Obamacare.
When you're shopping for health insurance, wouldn't it be great if you could find out every insurer's claim denial rate? And how much each one spent on lobbying and advertising -- and how much they paid their CEO?
The worst-case scenario for insurers is if the high court strikes down the provision of the law requiring us to buy coverage (the so-called individual mandate), but allows the law's important consumer protections to go forward.
During all of my years of helping plan Cigna shareholder meetings, we had an unblemished string of non-events. Relatively few of the big-profit insurers have had to cope with contentious shareholder meetings. Those days are over.
The insurance industry last month brought the Health Benefits Coalition out of storage. It is now the Essential Health Benefits Coalition, and its goal is to allow insurers and employers to continue selling policies that are swelling the ranks of the underinsured.
If the White House caves in to insurance industry demands, millions of low-wage earners will be forced to buy junk coverage on January 1, 2014. If you don't want to be forced to buy junk, send the White House a message. Now.
The health care reform law will go a long way toward solving the access problem in this country. When fully implemented, the number of uninsured Americans will drop by an estimated 30 million. But more than 20 million others will still be uninsured.
The health insurance industry's long-term strategy is to move all Americans into high-deductible plans, and they're well on their way to achieving that goal. Once there, you can bet the rates will be hiked up.
Nowhere are health insurers working harder to thwart reforms that could save consumers billions of dollars than in California, where a proposed bill that give state regulators the authority to reject rate increases that were excessive or discriminatory.
As the head of communications for two of the country's largest health insurers for almost 20 years, I recognize an orchestrated spin campaign when I see one. And boy oh boy did I see an award-winning one this week in San Francisco.
The next time you hear a politician say that reducing regulations and allowing the sale of health insurance across state lines would go a long way toward controlling health care costs, think of the real, much higher cost of such a solution.