California Coverage Plan for Undocumented Echoes Earlier Call by Schwarzenegger

Poll says residents support allowing ‘illegals’ to buy insurance or enroll in Medicaid.

Unlike former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, Democrats in Congress decided as they worked on health care reform that providing coverage to the estimated 11.5 million undocumented residents in the U.S. would not be a good idea.

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that many of them were unwilling to vote for a reform bill enabling undocumented residents to buy coverage on the state

Read the Story

Shining a Light on ALEC’s Power to Shape Policy

Commentary: American Legislative Exchange Council’s behind-the-scenes influence peddling should be getting more attention from the Washington press corps.

It’s amazing how a little sunlight will change the behavior of some of the biggest names in corporate America — sunlight here meaning greater transparency and accountability.

It’s also amazing how the U.K.’s The Guardian is covering this changed behavior — and its potential consequences for every American — without much competition from U.S.-based media. It seems that reporters in Washington in

Read the Story

What Really Scares Middle-Income Americans Away From the Dentist

Author’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles examining America’s oral health care crisis. Be sure to read part one, “America’s Hidden Epidemic That Obamacare Barely Touches.”

2013-09-23-hidden_epidemic.jpg
If you think that lack of access to dental care is just a problem for the poor in this country, think again. More and more middle-income Americans, even those with dental insurance, are finding that going to the dentist for even routine care is not a possibility because …

Read the Story

America’s Hidden Epidemic That Obamacare Barely Touches

I’ve spoken many times about the life-changing experience of seeing thousands of people standing in the rain for hours at a county fairground near where I grew up to get medical care in barns and animal stalls.

What may come as a surprise to many is the fact that most of those people were there to see a dentist, not a doctor. Yes, most also needed medical care, but their first priority was to get relief from toothaches that in …

Read the Story

Want to Fix Health Care? Watch This Movie.

Tonight: Escape Fire, The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare.

I’m often asked what I think of Obamacare.

I tell people it’s as good as far as it goes. It will provide coverage for millions of uninsured Americans, and it will make many of the most egregious practices of the health insurance industry a thing of the past, like dropping people from coverage when they get sick and charging older people up to ten times as much as younger people for …

Read the Story

Wendell Potter: A Prophetic Voice For Our Time

From Wisdom Voices, an interview with Wendell by Joanne Boyer, founder and editor of Wisdom Voices Press and blogger at WisdomVoices.com.

There are few people today – in any walk of life – who have the courage and wisdom of Wendell Potter. Potter’s determined passion to help educate the American public and help them understand the “deadly spin” of the for-profit health insurance industry serves as a centering force in a world that appears to be turned upside down …

Read the Story

Hope the Supremes strike down ObamaCare? Get ready for PanemCare

Since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia clearly isn’t going to take the time to actually read the health care reform law before he decides whether or not it’s constitutional, maybe he and a couple of his buddies on the High Court can catch a screening of “The Hunger Games”, the movie about children battling each other to the death in a futuristic America, renamed Panem.

“You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?” Scalia asked during arguments on …

Read the Story

Lack of Leadership at the Top of Corporate Ladder

Health insurers or investment banks, the values are still misplaced.

As I was reading former Wall Street executive Greg Smith’s bombshell of an Op-Ed in the New York Times last week, I mentally inserted the names of the big for-profit health insurers — two of which I worked for — in place of Goldman Sachs, where Smith worked until resigning on the day his column was published.

Smith wrote that he decided to leave Goldman-Sachs because it had veered so

Read the Story

Another Family’s Tragic Tale of Unaffordable Health Care

Plight of uninsured Alabama girl illustrates need for reform.

“It shouldn’t be this way,” read the subject line of an email I received Friday morning from a conservative friend and fellow Southerner. “People shouldn’t have to beg for money to pay for medical care.”

At first, I thought he was referring to my column last week in which I wrote about the fundraising effort to cover the bills, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, that the husband of Canadian skier

Read the Story

A Life-Changing Event

Nataline Sarkisyan needed a transplant, but ran out of time after an insurance company dawdled.

It was four years ago today that I received a phone call from a Los Angeles TV reporter that would change my life, although I certainly didn’t realize it at the time.

The reporter said she had been told that CIGNA, the big health insurer I worked for back then, was refusing to pay for a liver transplant for a 17-year-old girl, even though her

Read the Story