Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dear Senator Brownback, #2

Dear Senator Brownback:

I wrote to you the other day regarding my concerns about including the preservation of for-profit insurance companies as a key piece of health reform.The testimony of Wendell Potter, former head of corporate communications at CIGNA, on June 24, before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee which you sit on enhances this concern.

While I know that you were there, I believe that his statements are very serious and suggest a dangerous activity among insurance companies, possibly including conspiracy. He said, as you remember:

"I know from personal experience that members of Congress and the public have good reason to question the honesty and trustworthiness of the insurance industry. Insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, they flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and they make it nearly impossible to understand - or even to obtain - information we need. As you hold hearings and discuss legislative proposals over the coming weeks, I encourage you to look very closely at the role for-profit insurance companies play in making our health care system both the most expensive and one of the most dysfunctional in the world. I hope you get a real sense of what life would be like for most of us if the kind of so-called reform the insurers are lobbying for is enacted.

"When I left my job as head of corporate communications for one of the country’s largest insurers, I did not intend to go public as a former insider. However, it recently became abundantly clear to me that the industry’s charm offensive - which is the most visible part of duplicitous and well-financed PR and lobbying campaigns - may well shape reform in a way that benefits Wall Street far more than average Americans."

In a truly competitive marketplace, companies would compete on the quality of their product and the price. In health insurance, they compete to find creative ways to insure only the healthy and avoid having to cover those who are sick. This is not only bizarre, it is intolerable and must not be allowed to continue.

I know that you care deeply about the health of our people, and are aware how damaging this is.Please, please do not let ideology block this one great opportunity for getting meaningful health reform for Kansans and other Americans. Stand against having for-profit insurance companies have a role. At LEAST support a meaningful public option; the opposition of thse companies means that they know that they have a bad product that cannot compete in an open market.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help in any way.

Thank you
Joshua Freeman, MD

No comments:

Post a Comment