N.C. Consumer Advocates Seeing Red Over Bait and Switch by One of the Blues

RALEIGH, N.C. — Health insurers are demonstrating once again — this time in state capitals — that they cannot be trusted to do the right thing for consumers when health care reform is up for debate.

President Obama and Congressional leaders learned the hard way that insurance executives were playing them like a Stradivarius in promising to be good-faith partners on reform. In the end, though, the politicians realized that insurers had been carrying out a duplicitous PR strategy from …

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Insurers’ ‘Friends’ Will Influence Public Option Debate in Connecticut

As I noted Friday, health insurers in Connecticut will call on some of their longtime allies to help turn the public and state lawmakers against the idea of creating a state-run public option.

Legislators in Hartford are taking up the idea of doing just that today, as three legislative committees hold a joint public hearing on SustiNet, which they actually created in theory but didn’t fund in 2009. If implemented, SustiNet would provide a health care benefits package starting in …

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Fear and Loathing Over a Public Insurance Option in Hartford

This coming Monday morning, state lawmakers in Hartford, the nation’s insurance capital, will begin debate on implementing something insurers pulled out all the stops to kill at the national level — the so-called public option that would have created a government insurance program to compete with private carriers.

The setting has more than a bit of irony, since it was Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman whose opposition to the public option effectively assured it would not be part of the health …

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The Insurers’ Real Agenda for Change

The media had lots of health care news to obsess about last week. A federal judge ruled the health care reform law unconstitutional, and Senate Republicans tried in vain to repeal the law. But most of the press paid virtually no attention to a potentially much more important development — a multi-pronged effort by five major insurers to strip from the law key regulations and consumer protections that aren’t to their liking.

The insurers do not want the bill repealed …

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Obama’s View: Not A Lot Left to Debate in Health Care Law

By devoting just two minutes to health care reform in his State of the Union address — and not mentioning it until half way through the remarks — President Obama was signaling Americans that he believes the reform debate is over, that Republicans would be wasting precious time by “refighting the battles of the last two years.”

While noting that “anything can be improved” and that he would welcome ideas to improve the bill he signed into law last March, …

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Insurers Spin Court Decision on Health Insurance Mandate

When I testified before Congress last year, I told lawmakers that if they passed a health care reform bill with an individual mandate but no public option, they might as well call their bill the “Health Insurance Profit Protection and Enhancement Act.” Well, of course, that is exactly what Congress did, but they didn’t change the name of the new law as I suggested.

I was as upset as anyone that the public option was stripped out, but I …

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Wendell Potter to Congress: Go Ahead, Please Make Our Day

Politico is reporting that Congressional Republicans want to force their colleagues in the House and Senate who vote for a public insurance option as part of health care reform to enroll in that public plan when it becomes available.

I think Democrats ought to call their bluff and pledge to be the first to sign up. If they do, they will have to shove me out of line. I would love to have the option of enrolling in a public …

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