Court case pushed by think tank could leave uninsured out in the cold

By Wendell Potter

Supreme Court case backed by think tank hinges on single sentence in Affordable Care Act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… what the cost, so be it, say the folks at a libertarian influence shop in Washington. When the high court announced earlier this month that it would decide a …"

"… heir health insurance, it was time for high-fives at the Cato Institute in Washington. Cato’s director of health policy studies, Michael Cannon, has argued f …"

Health insurers win midterm election!

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: midterm results create a friendlier Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… re prices of five of the six largest for-profit Health insurers — Cigna, Health Net, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and WellPoint/Anthem — reached their highe …"

"… ix largest for-profit Health insurers — Cigna, Health Net, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and WellPoint/Anthem — reached their highest points in a year last W …"

"… d — and in some cases even tripled. If you had invested $25,000 in UnitedHealthcare stock in 2010, you would have $78,750 today, a 315 percent return. Bu …"

"… in: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans and Obamacare: What’s in It for M …"

Insurers spending cash, spreading fear in high-stakes California showdown

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: insurers have the cash to spread fear, confusion

Excerpts from this story referencing "Maine":

"… rate hike proposals — because they usually lose. In 2011, for example, Maine’s commissioner, Mila Kofman, concluded that Anthem Health Plans of Maine …"

"… Maine’s commissioner, Mila Kofman, concluded that Anthem Health Plans of Maine’s proposed rate increase of 9.7 percent was excessive. She ruled that An …"

"… fornia is part of the same for-profit company that owns the Anthem plan in Maine. If a majority of Californians vote no, as insurers hope they will, the pr …"

Comparison shopping for a health plan

By Wendell Potter

California makes it easy to do your homework.

Excerpts from this story referencing "California":

"… we get it through an employer or buy it on our own. But unless you live in California, chances are you won’t find much information about how satisfied people …"

"… cal performance information and complaint ratios is a lot more difficult. California is the only state I know of where you can find data on both, but it’s no …"

"… le of seeking it out. Back in 2000 when Democrat Gray Davis was governor, California began operating an agency called the Office of The Patient Advocate (OPA). …"

"… The most recent report card was released last Wednesday. If you’re a Californian and care as much about good customer service as you do about how much you …"

New types of health care delivery are improving the 'patient experience'

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: eliminating role of insurers could improve health care delivery.

Excerpts from this story referencing "CEO":

"… ies to provide back room services like claims processing. Dr. Joe Gifford, CEO of the Providence-Swedish ACO, told me his organization is working with Bl …"

"… ng a national company come in and tell us how to do it,” the company’s CEO, Scott Kelly, told the Monterey County Weekly. This trend is not new …"

Health insurers turning into who knows what?

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health insurers are transforming themselves — but into what?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Cigna":

"… tend to think that insurers with well-known brands like Aetna, Blue Cross, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare have been around forever and likely will always be wi …"

"… spitals and became Humana the managed care company. I left Humana to join Cigna in 1993. Cigna, which started out as a fire and marine insurance company, …"

"… ame Humana the managed care company. I left Humana to join Cigna in 1993. Cigna, which started out as a fire and marine insurance company, had by then mor …"

"… ling health insurance by this time. But within a year or so after I joined Cigna, Wall Street decided that multi-line insurers were dinosaurs and insisted …"

Taking insurance companies out of health care

By Wendell Potter

If Boeing experiment flies, health care system could be transformed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Insurance":

"… nt flies.  Wendell Potter is the author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and …"

Defeat of California initiative would protect insurers' profits

By Wendell Potter

Proposition 45 would allow California's insurance chief to block insurance rate hikes; insurers are spending millions to kill it.

Excerpts from this story referencing "online ads":

"… wo months, Californians will to be subjected to a barrage of TV, radio and online ads, which, ironically, they unknowingly will be paying for with their health …"

Obamacare-driven competition lowering rates in some states

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: much-maligned Affordable Care Act attracting for-profit insurers, driving prices down in some states.

Attack ads may actually be benefiting Obamacare enrollment

By Wendell Potter

Publicity from attacks may actually help hike enrollment.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kay Hagan":

"… eat while Democrats Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina are facing serious re-election threats. The balance of p …"

Insurers following 'the playbook' in opposing California ballot initiative

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: multi-faceted effort to defeat California ballot initiative.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… along with lawmakers and regulators, as among those subject to influence. Health care reform advocates in California, led by Consumer Watchdog, are support …"

"… 2.8 million itself, and has been joined by other insurers, including UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield and Health Net. Published reports sho …"

"… r insurers, including UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield and Health Net. Published reports show that they have been spending that money almos …"

"… hat no one has to know you have any association with the front group.” Health insurers named their front group to fight the ballot initiative “Califor …"

What's the point, WellPoint?

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: insurer's talk of rate increases may boomerang.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… s policyholders, Poizner wrote in a letter to then-CEO Angela Braly. In Washington, Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Energy & Comm …"

The health care industry's campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health insurers use a host of tactics to erode support for Obamacare.

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… nd doubt about reform ideas in the minds of elected officials and ordinary Americans. For instance, the special interests collaborated under the auspices of …"

"… spring of 2007. Both health insurance premiums and the number of uninsured Americans were continuing to skyrocket. Polls were showing that voters were fed up …"

"… r health insurers since the early 1990s, made crystal clear the point that Americans were losing confidence in the private health insurance market. As I des …"

"… ers that the government should do more to solve the many problems plaguing America’s health care system. Those of us in the room who were members of the i …"

New Fed study says health reform can reduce financial stress

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Massachusetts law eases financial stress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… d in a report last week. Citing a 2013 study by NerdWallet Health, an online service that helps people make more informed Health care decisi …"

"… nent of a lot of cases to becoming the dominant factor.” The NerdWallet Health study findings were consistent with previous research conducted by the Com …"

"… single-payer Health care system and founders of Physicians for a National Health Program, have done significant research on medical debt. Woolhandler has e …"

Sorting out why insurers cancel policies

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: blaming Obamacare masks real motives.

Government needs to fix Obamacare glitches — fast

By Wendell Potter

COMMENTARY: Government should be more forthcoming about computer glitches in Obamacare.

Opponents' missteps locked in Obamacare's future

By Wendell Potter

COMMENTARY: Republicans overplayed their hand, just as WellPoint did in 2010.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ted Cruz":

"… llying behind the President. This unity — along with the fact that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other Republicans who forced the government shutdo …"

OPINION: a brave new world for health insurance

By Wendell Potter

ObamaCare's exchanges are attracting innovators, not old-line companies.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… , which will go online October 1, as opportunities. Aetna, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare have all said they will be participating in only a few of those state- …"

"… n ObamaCare, Medicare, and public Health.  Sign up now to receive our Health newsletter. ------------------------- Only about 15 million Americans — …"

"… k at history. The big five “insurers” — Aetna, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth and WellPoint — have all changed radically in the past 25 years ago. Whe …"

"… Travelers and MetLife, whose Health care businesses are now part of UnitedHealthcare. United, now the largest of the big five, has only been around as a pu …"

OPINION: Pro-industry amendments lard up Missouri insurance legislation

By Wendell Potter

OPINION: Simple health insurance bill in Missouri becomes industry dream, consumer nightmare.

OPINION: smoothing out Medicaid's 'churn'

By Wendell Potter

Proposed legislation would protect folks from briefly losing benefits.

OPINION: Vermont law illuminates claims statistics

By Wendell Potter

Vermont law illuminates disparities among health insurers

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… nly three major Health insurers — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, MVP Health Care and Cigna, the company I used to work for. Blue Cross Blue Shield of …"

"… ’s Blues plans, spends a lot on lobbying every year, as does America’s Health Insurance Plans, of which Cigna and MVP are members. Cigna, a much bigger …"

OPINION: industry pushes high-deductible insurance plans

By Wendell Potter

Employers, insurers see high-deductible health plans as wave of the future.

OPINION: the behind-the-scenes battle that could subvert Obamacare

By Wendell Potter

Battle over stop-loss coverage could eliminate consumer protections

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Association of Insurance Commissioners":

"… his fight are those state insurance commissioners. Their organization, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, just wrapped up its fall meeting in Washington, where consumer advocates …"

Health insurance PACs have love-hate relationship with health care reform

By Reity O'Brien

Health insurance PACs gave generously to reform opponents while supporting the Obama plan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Association of Insurance Commissioners":

"… controlled 35 percent of the industry in 2011, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The top industry trade group is America’s Health Insurance Plans.Much o …"

OPINION: ObamaCare's crucial benefits

By Wendell Potter

Health care law will cap out-of-pocket spending

Excerpts from this story referencing "Health":

"… he lowest rate of increase in years, according to Kaiser’s 2012 Employer Health Benefits Survey, which was released last week. Double-digit premium increa …"

"… the overall rise in premiums.    A study published last year in Health Affairs found that the gains in wages U.S. workers made over the past deca …"

OPINION: The illusory promise of free-market health care miracles

By Wendell Potter

Republicans keep touting free-market health care, but there's no evidence it works.

Excerpts from this story referencing "WellPoint":

"… insurance industry. The two biggest health insurers, UnitedHealthcare and WellPoint, are giants because of their numerous acquisitions over the past several y …"

OPINION: Real-world health insurance math doesn't add up

By Wendell Potter

Grad student had insurance, but had to shame Aetna to get cancer bills covered.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arijit Guha":

"… ally have low annual and lifetime limits — as was discovered recently by Arijit Guha, a 31-year-old graduate student at Arizona State University who’s been d …"

OPINION: Why insurers want ObamaCare's Medicaid business

By Wendell Potter

Pay no attention to GOP governors; health insurers want that new Medicaid business.

Excerpts from this story referencing "House of Representatives":

"… e of the GOP’s biggest benefactors — the giant insurance companies. …"

Mitt Romney

Governors put off health care questions, for now

By The Associated Press

Concerned about costs, governors put off decisions on health care law until after Election Day

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicaid":

"… heir states will proceed on two parts under their control: an expansion of Medicaid, expected to extend coverage to roughly 15 million low-income people, and …"

"… all Americans insured, ruling that states can opt out of the expansion of Medicaid, the government-run insurance plan. People earning up to 138 percent of th …"

"… People earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for Medicaid under the health care law, except in states that reject the expansion.The …"

"… n them instead.About a half-dozen states have announced plans to forgo the Medicaid expansion and relinquish the massive infusion of federal dollars that woul …"

2 paths forward for uninsured, 1 clouded by ruling

By The Associated Press

Court ruling giving states leeway on Medicaid casts uncertainty on new coverage for millions

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rick Scott":

"… states to come on board. That's not to say all of them will; Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced over the weekend that his state will opt out, and others will pr …"

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