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Friday, April 23, 2010

Private Insurance Targets Breast Cancer Patients for Rescission; Single-Payer Now!

The new health insurance reform law will make your life better, but it still leaves too much power in the hands of private insurance corporations. We still need to work for the real solution, a single-payer system in which access to health care is a right and not a looming threat of bankruptcy and debilitation.

Private insurers can no longer be trusted to provide our health care. This Reuters report reveals that WellPoint, the biggest insurer in the nation, targets breast cancer patients to revoke their coverage by any means available:

WellPoint also has specifically targeted women with breast cancer for aggressive investigation with the intent to cancel their policies, federal investigators told Reuters. The revelation is especially striking for a company whose CEO and president, Angela Braly, has earned plaudits for how her company improved the medical care and treatment of other policyholders with breast cancer.

The disclosures come to light after a recent investigation by Reuters showed that another health insurance company, Assurant Health, similarly targeted HIV-positive policyholders for rescission. That company was ordered by courts to pay millions of dollars in settlements [Murray Waas, "WellPoint Routinely Targets Breast Cancer Patients," Reuters via Yahoo News, 2010.04.22].

Uncle Sam Insurance, whether operating as the single-payer or competing as a public option with private companies, will not and cannot rescind your coverage because you get sick. Uncle Sam Insurance doesn't seek profit; it is just you and me, fellow citizens (all fellow citizens, under single-payer), working together to keep each other well and protect our personal and economic liberty. That's the just and efficient system we need, not the current private vulture insurance that swoops down on the sick to take their money and leave them without the affordable care they thought they were paying for.

Listen to Dennis Kucinich: this year's health reform law must only be the first step, an opening to move toward the real reform we need: a single-payer health insurance system that will save money, save lives, and treat Americans as human beings, not profit points.

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