NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Connecticut attorney general is seeking information about what the state’s five largest health insurers may have sent policyholders over legislation that would reform the Medicare program for the elderly.
The information requests announced on Friday follow a U.S. government probe announced last month into a letter sent from Humana Inc (HUM.N) to its Medicare members that caused a stir on Capitol Hill.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal wants information from Aetna Inc (AET.N), UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N), Health Net (HNT.N), WellPoint Inc’s (WLP.N) Anthem Health Plans unit and ConnectiCare Inc.
Let me summarize: The Attorney General of Connecticut was irritated that Humana had the audacity to inform its members of relevant legislative changes, and wants to ensure that the other insurance companies are staying in line.
To quote the President – let’s be clear about this… it’s purely a way for the state to monitor private industry. It’s part of the game. They’re finding ways to demonize the companies and shut them down. It’s a way to limit your options, Connecticut.
Eliminating options seems to be a pattern. There is a HuffPo piece (yes, click at your own risk) that refers to the battle between public and private insurers “political extortion”. Seriously?
The fiscal truth of the matter is Medicare cannot afford to continue to give away $169 billion dollars of taxpayer funds to America’s insurance industry. The industry is quick to highlight extra benefits provided to MA beneficiaries (such as eyeglasses, dental coverage, and gym memberships) but why shouldn’t these benefits be provided to all seniors, not just those in private plans?
First of all, this begs the obvious: we can’t afford to subsidize… but we can afford to provide a public option that gives everyone those benefits? Um…
Second – it shouldn’t be provided to all seniors because some people pay more. All health care is not created equal. Medicare Advantage is a higher level of care. If seniors want to pay more and have more benefits, they should have that choice.
Ed Morrissey asks:
Do you recall the many occasions when Barack Obama said, “If you like your current plan, you can keep it”? Why doesn’t that apply to Medicare Advantage consumers?
Because it’s not true, Ed. That’s why. It’s another step in systematically eliminating options. Everyone gets care… the same sub-par care. Even when they’re willing to pay for better.