Karen Ignagni the CEO of AHIP, held a conference call with members of the press this morning. I am persona non grata with AHIP, but perhaps Jane got by the AHIP screeners (remind you of the George Bush towh hall meetings?), and will be able to give us her impressions of what transpired.

Before the call, AHIP posted Karen’s opening statement on it’s web site, it’s worth reading.  Here’s her take home message. Mind you she actually calls this drivel, facts.  What’s posted is nonsense. The most egregious falsehood in my opinion, is that she says, "Out of every dollar the nation spends on health care, one penny goes to health plan profits".

“With that in mind, there are five facts we believe all Americans should know:

  • Health plans have proposed comprehensive health care reform to cover all Americans, make care more affordable, and improve quality.
  • Health plans proposed health insurance reform last year.
  • Health plans have proposed far-reaching initiatives to bend the health cost curve and make care more affordable for individuals, families, and employers.
  • Health plans are advocating and advertising in support of bipartisan reform.
  • Out of every dollar the nation spends on health care, one penny goes to health plan profits.

“Our community includes thousands of dedicated, conscientious Americans who are working hard across the country to try and improve health care.  They are ordinary Americans from all walks of life who are raising their families and contributing to their communities. They do not deserve to be demonized or vilified as part of a campaign to distract attention away from the sinking support for a government-run program.”

Good try, Ms. Ignagni, nice how you twist reality.  

Here’s the truth, because of our fragmented healthcare system, the U.S. spends one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars on delivering profits to Wall Street, needless administration and wasteful overhead.

Here’s the take home message from the American people to Ms. Ignagni, her paid teabaggers, and all those who seek to perpetuate the murderous status quo in the United States (PDF):

  • The United States is the only industrialized country in the world without a universal health insurance system.1
  • In 2006, the U.S. census reported that 46 million Americans (recently revised downward to 45 million) have no health insurance.2
  • “Over a third (36%) of families living below the poverty line are uninsured. Hispanic Americans (34%) are more than twice as likely to be uninsured as white Americans, (13%) while 21% of black Americans have no health insurance.”3
  • More than 9 million children lack health insurance in America.4
  • Eighteen thousand people die each year because they are uninsured.5
  • According to the UN Human Development Report, “The uninsured are less likely to haveregular outpatient care, so they are more likely to be hospitalized for avoidable healthproblems. Once in hospital, they receive fewer services and are more likely to die in the hospital than are insured patients. They also receive less preventive care. Over 40% of the uninsured do not have a regular place to go when they are sick and over a third of the uninsured say that they or someone in their family went without needed care, including recommended treatments or prescription drugs in the last year, because of cost.”6
  • Half of all bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. Three-quarters of those filings are people with health insurance.7
  • U.S. health care spending is approximately $2 trillion per year, or $6,697 per person.8
  • The United States continues to spend significantly more on health care than other countries in the world.9
  • Administrative costs account for 31 percent of all health care expenditures in the United States. The average overhead for U.S. private health insurers is 11.7 percent; for Medicare, it is 3.6 percent; for Canada’s national health insurance program, it is 1.3 percent.10
  • According to the UN Human Development Report, while the United States leads the world in spending on health care, “countries spending substantially less than the US have
  • Over the next decade, the federal government will give the drug and health care industries an estimated $822 billion as a result of the 2003 enactment of Medicare Part D (the Medicare prescription drug plan).16
  • There are four times as many health care lobbyists in Washington as there are members of Congress.17
  • Ninety percent of Americans believe the American health care system needs fundamental changes or needs to be completely rebuilt. Two-thirds of Americans believe the federal government should guarantee universal health care for all citizens.18 

Now let’s talk about Ms. Ignagni’s crocodile tears for those good dedicated insurance industry workers so unfairly maligned. What a load of horse shit. You bet they’re dedicated.  Is she referring to the dedicated employees of Blue Cross in California who received bonuses based on the policies they successfully rescinded and the claims they unjustly denied?

 The CEO of AHIP is a sociopath. Drive a stake through the heart of this evil industry.

Eve (nyceve) Gittelson

Eve (nyceve) Gittelson

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