Diary

Coordinated insurance company attacks

I was shocked – but not surprised – to read articles this week about insurance company changes regarding children. There was clearly a coordinated effort on the part of the left to vilify and lie about an outcome that anyone with a double-digit IQ would have foreseen.

The message presented across all fronts was:
EVIL INSURANCE COMPANIES WILL NO LONGER COVER YOUR CHILDREN!!!!
when the true “news” was really no more than:
THANKS TO OBAMACARE, INSURANCE COMPANIES ELIMINATE LOOPHOLE THAT BENEFITED SOME PARENTS

Two specific examples are below, but no doubt you could find the same sort of things in every version of this story. I’m sure the TV coverage was more of the same as well.

Washington Post

Major health insurers to stop offering new child-only policies

By N.C. Aizenman
Monday, September 20, 2010; 10:46 PM

Some of the country’s most prominent health insurance companies have decided to stop offering new child-only plans, rather than comply with rules in the new health-care law that will require such plans to start accepting children with preexisting medical conditions after Sept. 23.

The title is accurate, but it’s misleading – if not an outright lie – to say the companies are not complying with the rules. The Post implies that the companies are breaking the rules, but if they can avoid the situation it doesn’t mean they haven’t complied. It’s like saying that if a city has an ordinance that bans smoking at businesses except in designated areas, then I’m refusing to comply if I ban smoking entirely at mine. Nonsense.

“We’re just days away from a new era when insurance companies must stop denying coverage to kids just because they are sick, and now some of the biggest changed their minds,” Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now, an advocacy group, said in a statement. “[It] is immoral, and to blame their appalling behavior on the new law is patently dishonest.”

The only thing dishonest here is his comments. HCAN was and is a front group for liberals pushing ObamaCare, and the response from the companies in how to comply with the law’s requirements is a consequence that only an idiot would say was unintended, appalling, or immoral. Note also when you see the section below how the Post conveniently cropped his comment.

But officials of the Obama administration said the move contradicted a letter from the leader of one of the insurance industry’s most important trade groups after the law’s adoption in March. Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, expressed support for the law’s provisions concerning children with preexisting conditions and promised to “fully comply” with them.

“We expect [insurance companies] to honor that commitment. Insurers shouldn’t break their promise and turn their backs on some of our most vulnerable Americans,” said Jessica Santillo, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for AHIP, noted that insurers will be accepting children with preexisting conditions in other types of plans.

But, he said, extending such coverage in child-only policies “provides a very powerful incentive for a parent to wait until their child becomes very sick before purchasing coverage.”

The AHIP person perfectly explains what the HHS person is lying about. They are complying with the new rules, and all they are doing is preventing people from exploiting a loophole that let parents buy cheap coverage for themselves and more extensive separate policies for their kids. Now you’ll need a full family plan instead, so it will cost more.

The Hill’s Healthcare blog

Health insurers drop coverage for children ahead of new rules

By Julian Pecquet – 09/20/10 05:00 PM ET

Health plans in at least four states have announced they’re dropping children’s coverage just days ahead of new rules created by the healthcare reform law, according to the liberal grassroots group Health Care for America Now (HCAN).

This is an outright lie – children’s coverage is not being dropped. At least they identify HCAN as “liberal”, though to call them “grassroots” is hogwash.

“We’re just days away from a new era when insurance companies must stop denying coverage to kids just because they are sick, and now some of the biggest changed their minds and decided to refuse to sell child-only coverage,” HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome said in a statement. “The latest announcement by the insurance companies that they won’t cover kids is immoral, and to blame their appalling behavior on the new law is patently dishonest.

“Instead, they should reverse their actions immediately and simply follow the law. If the insurance companies can casually turn their backs on sick children now, who will they abandon next? This offensive behavior by the insurance companies is yet another reminder of why the new law is so important and why the Republicans’ call for repeal is so misguided.”

The first paragraph is a fuller version from the HCAN statement – in the Post version they conveniently omitted the admission that it was only child-only coverage that was being dropped. But the second paragraph is maddening. The companies are indeed following the law, and they are not abandoning anyone. The offensive behavior is how this law was passed and how the left continues to lie about it. The consequences were predictable.

We can expect the Democrats and their comrades in the MSM will try to change the discussion from the terrible Obama economy to “The evil Republicans hate your kids!”