Sep 14, 2009 - Government Lies, Health Care    Comments Off

Fact checking the President’s address to Congress

If you’ve been following the healthcare issue, you know most of these 10 “errors” and they most likely caused more than a few groans – or outbursts of “you lie” at your TV.

And here, his attacks on the Health Insurance Industry are checked.

To highlight abusive practices, Mr. Obama referred to an Illinois man who “lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy

Although the president has used this example previously, his conclusion is contradicted by the transcript of a June 16 hearing on industry practices before the Subcommittee of Oversight and Investigation of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. The deceased’s sister testified that the insurer reinstated her brother’s coverage following intervention by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. She testified that her brother received a prescribed stem-cell transplant within the desired three- to four-week “window of opportunity” from “one of the most renowned doctors in the whole world on the specific routine,” that the procedure “was extremely successful,” and that “it extended his life nearly three and a half years.”

The president used Alabama to buttress his call for a government insurer to enhance competition in health insurance. He asserted that 90% of the Alabama health-insurance market is controlled by one insurer

Similarly, a Dec. 31, 2007, report by the Alabama Department of Insurance indicates that the insurer’s ratio of medical-claim costs to premiums for the year was 92%, with an administrative expense ratio (including claims settlement expenses) of 7.5%. Its net income, including investment income, was equivalent to 2% of premiums in that year.

In addition to these consumer friendly numbers, a survey in Consumer Reports this month reported that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama ranked second nationally in customer satisfaction among 41 preferred provider organization health plans. The insurer’s apparent efficiency may explain its dominance, as opposed to a lack of competition—especially since there are no obvious barriers to entry or expansion in Alabama faced by large national health insurers such as United Healthcare and Aetna.

The performance of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is certainly far better than any of the government plans!

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