Tag Archives: health insurance companies

We All Deserve CheneyCare–Not CIGNACare

From Nataline Sarkisyan to Angela Dispenza to ten-year-old Preston, we all deserve the kind of care that Dick Cheney has.

Pre-existing condition?  No problem.  Guaranteed healthcare?  Of course.  Heartless insurance bureaucrats meddling in medical decisions?  No way.  A single standard of quality care?  Nothing less will do.  

But why just Cheney?  Why not everyone?

Want to sign up for it?

…cross-posted at the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association’s Breakroom Blog, as we organize for GUARANTEED healthcare on the single-payer model.


Activist nurses around the country are going to take the case for CheneyCare directly to the Presidential candidates this year-but we need your help.  Go sign up.  We’ll send nurses in scrubs to carry the petition on your behalf to every member of Congress and Presidential candidate from both parties.  Patients need to keep pressure on politicians to really fix the healthcare system and ensure guaranteed healthcare for all Americans.

Nurses are running ads about CheneyCare today in major newspapers across the country.  As the Presidential race swings into high gear, it’s time for the pateints’ revolt to match it, and display the kind of intensity and organization that will force the politicians to listen to us-and not the insurance donors.  It’s time for the patients’ revolt, and Dick Cheney, and the care he receives but we don’t, is the perfect symbol to make it happen.  Take a look at the full ad, today in the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, and USA Today.

In case you missed it, The Wall St. Journal noted:

Vice President Dick Cheney would “probably be dead by now” if not for his federally funded health care, according to an eye-catching ad calling for universal health care that will run…in newspapers. The ad is union-funded by the California Nurses Association and its national arm, the National Nurses Organizing Committee, which represents 75,000 nurses.

You know you’ve succeeded when this happens:

The vice president’s office said the ad isn’t worth more than a no comment. “Something this outrageous does not warrant a response,” said Megan Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Cheney.

We are building a grand coalition.  

And the insurance industry?  Well, who really likes them except for the politicians whose pockets they line?

Billions in Profits from Healthcare Reform?

The Wall St. Journal reports on the new marketing plans for the health insurance companies: push health care reform, reap $100 billion in annual public subsidies!

We’ll take a look at that, as well as the GOP candidates who don’t care about cancer, the Sacramento insiders letting kids’ health fail run out, and new problems with the “Massachusetts mandate” law.

…cross-posted at the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association’s Breakroom Blog, as we organize for GUARANTEED healthcare on the single-payer model.

It’s like the insurance companies wrote the law themselves.  Across the country, “healthcare reform” proposals are moving forward that would leave the current broken healthcare system intact, protect the role of the insurers, AND give them tens of billions of dollars in new revenues from government funds?

Democratic presidential candidates like to beat up on insurance companies, but there is a lot for the industry to like in their health-care plans — starting with plenty of new business.

“Here’s the potential for a whole new pool of lives for them to cover, with payment behind it,” said Benjamin Isgur, assistant director of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute, which examined the presidential health plans’ impact on industry. The study, a comprehensive look at health-care plans offered by candidates in both parties, also concludes that doctors, hospitals and other health-care providers would likely benefit since more patients with insurance suggest more would seek care and be able to pay their bills.

The leading Democratic candidates all propose boosting spending — by around $100 billion a year — mostly to help people buy private insurance plans.

Of course the insurance corporations are not dumb:

The early signals from the insurance industry, which played a major roll in killing health-care reform in 1994, are positive. The industry’s chief lobbyist, Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, says she is encouraged by the debate so far and says her group is focused on trying to get universal insurance enacted rather than stopping it. “At 20,000 or 30,000 feet, we have heard encouraging statements from Democrats and Republicans,” she says.

Meanwhile, the same “individual mandate” law in Massachusetts is good for insurers, but blowing a hole in the state budget.  And that hole is not fixable, since there is simply not enough public money to give protect the massive profits of the health insurance corporations.

GOP candidates who have survived cancer seem to show no compassion for other cancer survivors, at least if you trust their healthcare plans, and Sacramento insiders are showing precious little compassion for kids in that state who are about to get tossed off the healthcare rolls.

SF Chron Op-Ed: Health Deal Not Ready for Prime-Time

Zenei Cortez, RN, has been a working bedside nurse for 30 years and is a member of the Council of Presidents of National Nurses Organizing Committee and California Nurses Association…and we’re quite proud to say she’s the first Filipino to hold that office.

She takes on the Schwarzenegger-inspired healthcare deal in today’s San Francisco Chronicle with an oped called, “Hasty Health Care Deal Not Ready for Prime Time.”

While reading her words, remember the experience that Registered Nurses across this country share: every day they watch patients *with* health insurance go broke, and get sick because they can’t afford the medical treatment they are allegedly covered for.  This is a key reason RNs oppose health care “reform” built on padding forcing more patients into the arms of the insurers who messed things up in the first place.

…cross-posted at the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association’s Breakroom Blog, as we organize for GUARANTEED healthcare on the single-payer model.

In addition to providing the insurance companies with *BILLIONS* of dollars in new public subsidies and forced payouts from working- and middle-class patients, the proposed deal suffers from the following problems:

It’s equally evident what the deal won’t include:
— Limits – other than a vague reliance on the market which created the mess – on skyrocketing insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, hospital charges, doctor’s bills and other fees that are rising at double, triple or more the rate of inflation and increases in worker’s wages.
— Choice of doctor, hospital or other provider. Unlike Medicare, insurers or employers will continue to be able to restrict patients to their medical plan’s network or require costly additional payments to see other providers.
— An end to insurance industry control over basic decisions about your health. Insurers will still be able to block referrals to specialists, deny needed medical tests or access to the newest prescription drugs, and can still refuse to pay for care deemed “experimental” or “not medically necessary,” even when it is recommended by your doctor. 

And if you’ve been reading that you’ll be protected from runaway costs?  Uh…

The cost protections are a mirage. Many middle-income families will qualify for state tax credits to help pay for the insurance they are required to buy. But a tax credit hardly makes up for costly monthly premium payments and other fees.
Further, the proposed annual out-of-pocket limit of 6.5 percent in costs applies only to the barebones mandatory policy. Anyone seeking coverage that includes such essentials as dental, vision, mental health, long-term care, and other needed care will have to pay much more.
The likely result will be more consumer debt for medical bills; a great boon for the banks and credit-card companies but increased financial risk for Californians and an encouragement to self-ration needed care due to the prohibitive cost.

And we’re not the only ones who see the obvious comparisons with energy de-reg….remember that was supported by just about every lobbyist in Sacramento, especially those with ties to Enron:

A decade ago, there was also a consensus for energy deregulation. The result was blackouts, higher costs for consumers, a financial calamity for the state, and open thievery by Enron and other energy corporations.
We should learn from that experience. Rather than rush through an ill-conceived plan that primarily rewards the same insurance giants, let’s adopt a more commonsense step, expand children’s health coverage with federal funds now and get real, guaranteed health care reform done next year.

Insurance Corporations Killing Kids

(Game on, I suppose. – promoted by Bob Brigham)

I hate to be melodramatic, but that’s pretty much what it comes down to.

At least according to today’s report finding that America is last among industrialized democracies in terms of infant mortality.  Because our healthcare system is set up to guarantee billions of dollars of profit to unnecessary insurance corporations, kids born here are more likely to die than they are in countries with guaranteed healthcare through the single-payer model.

…cross-posted at the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association’s Breakroom Blog, as we organize for GUARANTEED healthcare on the single-payer model.

One place this hits hard is Memphis, along with other cities with predominantly African-American populations.  African-American kids are two and a half times more likely than white kids to die in infancy.  Racism starts early, I guess.

This is the context in which Rudy Giuliani stated his big lie about cancer patients being better of in America than Europe.  He’s been proven wrong but refuses to apologize.  Kids are being killed on a daily basis by this system and he refuses to admit it because it doesn’t square with his bid for President.  Ezra Klein takes a look.

One of the real flashpoints for the battle over healthcare is in Kentucky and West Virginia, where nurses across the country are traveling to support their striking colleagues in the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.  ARH is trying to bump up their profits by slashing the number of nurses caring for patients.  Profits over patients indeed.

In California, we’re working hard to stop a fake reform plan that includes an individual mandate, e.g. a requirement that every person purchase expensive, wasteful insurance products.  Fortunately, public opinion is turning against this nasty little brew cooked up by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  If we can break it here, we can break it anywhere!