The insurance industry — you know, the one conservative lawmakers and the AMA are so desperate to protect at all costs — has this unpleasant habit called “rescission.” Customers have insurance, and they pay their premiums, but once they get sick and require expensive medical treatment, the companies drop the coverage.
One executive said rescission is about “stopping fraud and material misrepresentations that contribute to spiraling healthcare costs.” So, for example, when a woman in Texas was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer, her insurer dropped her coverage because the company found an instance in which she visited a dermatologist for acne, and didn’t tell the insurance company about it. This, the insurer said, was an example of “fraud and material misrepresentation.”
“Late in the hearing, [Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)], the committee chairman, put the executives on the spot. Stupak asked each of them whether he would at least commit his company to immediately stop rescissions except where they could show ‘intentional fraud.’”
The answer from all three executives: “No.”
Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) added, “This is precisely why we need a public option.”
As Gruber said, U.S. health insurance executives are simply evil bastards.
Unfortunately, our very expensive, very inefficient and highly rationed model of healthcare doesn’t show any signs of going away.