Corporations, advocacy groups spend big on ballot measures

By Liz Essley Whyte

Corporations and national advocacy groups are throwing big dollars behind TV ads before voters decide 158 state ballot measures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… ers to Contain Health Costs. The “no” groups are backed by doctors and insurance companies, including The Doctors Company and Blue Shield of California, fi …"

"… Recent transplant James VanBuskirk, a 34-year-old marketer for a property insurance company, says he sees one every time he watches prime-time TV. Prop 46 to …"

"… ld require insurers to receive approval for rate hikes from the California insurance commissioner, an elected regulator. The ballot committee supporting the me …"

"… isan nonprofit that produces online voter guides. That doesn’t mean the insurance companies are necessarily going to win. In 2010, a group backed by Pacific …"

California coverage plan for undocumented echoes earlier call by Schwarzenegger

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: former governor supported plan allowing coverage for undocumented residents.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Governor":

"… at with folks hanging off the sides of the ship." …"

"… nuary 2007 that was similar to the one enacted in Massachusetts under then-Governor Mitt Romney. Schwarzenegger’s plan had one notable difference: it would …"

Obamacare helps millions, but falls short in many ways

By Wendell Potter

The Affordable Care Act has reduced the ranks of the uninsured, but cost of care must be addressed.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… ot just those who have become newly insured over the past year. President Barack Obama cited some of the impressive statistics last Thursday, the day after the o …"

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 "Health":

"… s in It for Me? What Everyone Needs to Know About the Affordable Care Act. …"

"… fact, in some ways they have been part of the problem. Providence-Swedish Health Alliance, a not-for-profit, hospital-based accountable care organization ( …"

"… he Health insurance market are hiring companies like Chicago-based Valence Health, a fast-growing firm that offers services ranging from claims adjudication …"

"… 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 …"

Health insurers turning into who knows what?

By Wendell Potter

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mark Bertolini":

"… ely destroying the current business model to enable a new one,” said CEO Mark Bertolini at a health care technology conference earlier this year.  Cigna CEO …"

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 "health insurance":

"… onal insurer. I predict that the big for-profits will eventually cede the health insurance marketplace to nonprofit insurers and provider-led organizations like ACOs …"

GOP’s Senate hopes energized by Koch network ad blitz

By Michael Beckel

How many TV ads have groups connected to the billionaire brothers aired in your state?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… Begich of “standing with insurance companies” by supporting President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. Meanwhile, Generation Opportunity, a Koch gro …"

Docs, drug companies, insurers drive up Medicare costs

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: reform drove down hospital costs, creating Medicare savings, but insurers, doctors and drug companies escaped cuts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare Rights Center":

"… ld ever hope to have. Late last month, two of the advocacy groups — the Medicare Rights Center and Social Security Works — released a report suggesting that Congress c …"

How Medicare Advantage plans code for cash

By Fred Schulte

Federal study criticizes Medicare Advantage and calls for changes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Analyzing government":

"… eating elderly patients — and have gotten away with doing it for years. Analyzing government data never before made public, Department of Health and Human Services res …"

Feds seek new authority to recoup Medicare Advantage overcharges

By Fred Schulte

Impact: Feds act to recoup overcharges following Center investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… Advantage and introduced risk scores in 2003 as a way to encourage private insurance companies to jump into the senior care market. The program now insures som …"

"… this year. The plans, many of them run by some of the nation’s largest insurance companies, are popular because they often provide extra benefits, such as …"

"… ut the scores crept back up in 2011. Critics argue that even as the health insurance industry lobbies Congress to stave off further rate cuts, it remains overp …"

Medicare Advantage plans require more scrutiny

By Fred Schulte

Government inspector says private Medicare plans difficult to investigate due to lack of access to data.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… omplete data that would facilitate oversight” of the fast-growing health insurance plans. His comments came in testimony prepared for a Wednesday hearing of …"

"… e” Medicare. But Medicare Advantage plans, which are often run by large insurance companies and accept a set monthly fee from the government for each patien …"

"… y” and “difficulties with access to information” held by the private insurance companies. He wrote that fraud investigators have no central place to acce …"

"… ernment. Congress created Medicare Advantage in 2003 to encourage private insurance companies to jump into the senior care market without hesitation. Since th …"

Credit rating industry dodges reforms, despite role in financial meltdown

By Alison Fitzgerald

Despite playing a central role in the economic collapse, firms that gave inflated ratings to toxic bonds remain untouched by reforms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Responsive Politics":

"… spent nearly $106 million on lobbying in 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. When the House and Senate got together to reconcile their versions of fi …"

Home is where the money is for Medicare Advantage plans

By Fred Schulte

Medicare Advantage home visits may not improve health, but boost risk scores and cost taxpayers billions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… plans are paid fairly for taking on that responsibility. Scott Weiner, a Virginia Medicare billing expert, said health plans that don’t bill aggressively …"

"… , said Brian Wise, chief executive officer of Advance Health in Chantilly, Virginia. “I know there is a lot of good happening. People who are in danger are …"

Medicare Advantage lobbying machine steamrolls Congress

By Fred Schulte

Under pressure, Medicare Advantage critics morph into defenders.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare Rights Center":

"… the Senate in 2008. Stacey Sanders, federal policy director with the Medicare Rights Center in Washington, a nonprofit consumer service organization, criticized …"

150 billion reasons Medicare Advantage matters

By Eleanor Bell

Reporter Fred Schulte discusses his investigation into billions of dollars misspent on Medicare Advantage plans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… king not only for that; we’re asking for the names of companies, and big insurance companies that have been billing and how they’ve been billing and who’ …"

"… invade the privacy of a doctor.  But when you’re talking about huge insurance companies we don’t see how that, how there should be any privacy there. …"

Shameful coverage of Obamacare's real impacts

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Obamacare coverage that doesn't inform.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… l, I consider that shameful.  …"

"… the actual impact the law is having on our lives. The title of the May 21 Senate Commerce Committee hearing: “Delivering Better Health Care Value to Cons …"

Forcing health insurers to do what's right

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Policyholders benefit from Obamacare provision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… eir health insurance payments. …"

"… een benefiting since Congress enacted reforms in 2010 that changed the way insurance companies operate. Among the practices I brought to the panel’s attenti …"

"… ed to explore the issue further. After examining years of reports filed by insurance companies, the committee found that, as Rockefeller said Wednesday, “man …"

"… found that, as Rockefeller said Wednesday, “many of the policies health insurance companies were selling to families and businesses were just not a good val …"

A different way of thinking about health care

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Canadians take pride in their health care system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Medicare":

"… ensure the continued financial viability of their system, which they call Medicare, no one in Ottawa of any ideological stripe would dare suggest doing much …"

U.S. Chamber targets Dems in state attorney general races

By Ben Wieder

Why are powerful business interests underwriting ads in AG races in the states?

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Rifle Association":

"… to Republican Jerry Kilgore. The LEAA, which has also been backed by the National Rifle Association, was also active in 2002 state attorneys general races in Illinois and Kan …"

Keeping an eye on insurance companies that refuse to pay claims

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Arizona case resolved after victim became a 'squeaky wheel'

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… dly, not at all shocked. It was just the most recent example of how health insurance bureaucrats insert themselves between patients and their doctors, all too …"

"… a health-care nightmare. His case is an example of what can happen when an insurance company decided to question the administration of care provided by doctors …"

"… d to be denied coverage. He assumed that because he paid the premiums, his insurance company would be there for him if he ever had an emergency. Faraci filed …"

"… ” adding that Faraci would be responsible only for his deductible and co-insurance. As a former insurance company PR guy who used to deal with reporters whe …"

The Canadian health care system I disparaged

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: health care system up north is more efficient.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Toronto":

"… 013 the average employer-based family policy cost $16,351. At one stop in Toronto, I was asked if there was anything about the U.S. system that Canadians sh …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "energy":

"… 0), Microsoft Corp. (at least $630,000) and IBM Corp. ($1.5 million), plus energy heavyweight ExxonMobil Corp. (at least $3.8 million) — a list that gener …"

"… eavley and Carolyn King, ruled on cases in which parties in the cases were energy companies that paid the couple royalties for extracting minerals from thei …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New York":

"… . before joining a nonprofit housing group in 2002. He represents the tony New York suburb of Greenwich, Conn., which is home to some of the world’s largest …"

"… ws an annual Super Bowl party for big-ticket donors, according to the New York Post. The Sunlight database includes invitations to fundraisers held on b …"

American-style health care system pushed in Canada

By Wendell Potter

Canada's conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants to remake nation's health care system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "America":

"… nfluence the debate on health care reform. Our number one objective: make Americans so afraid of “heading down the slippery slope toward socialism” that …"

"… . Leading the scare campaign behind the scenes was the trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans. With help from a right-wing Canadian outfit ca …"

"… ser Institute, which has received funding from the Koch brothers and other American donors, AHIP put together a three-ring binder of talking points for insur …"

"… he north about the dangers of “heading down the slippery slope” toward American-style health care. The reality is that Canadians spend far less per capi …"

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 "Sacramento":

"… system.   Immediately after the first American screening of SiCKO in Sacramento, many reporters got this in their inbox: “Health Care America, a non-pa …"

Dizzying array of options in Obamacare can lead to expensive mistakes

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Health insurers offer a wide range of plans on exchanges, customers should pay attention to the details.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Kaiser Permanente":

"… n with a higher premium would likely have been better deal than the silver Kaiser Permanente plan she opted for and that seemed to be more affordable. To make shoppin …"

New Fed study says health reform can reduce financial stress

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Massachusetts law eases financial stress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… mit for any health plan offered on the state and federally operated health insurance exchanges is $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. While tha …"

"… ureau — it still represents a significant improvement. Prior to the ACA, insurance companies were able to sell policies that had no out-of-pocket maximums. I …"

"… ressed concern that while the ACA will reduce the number of people without insurance, it might increase the number of people who are under-insured. That …"

Pay no attention to those insurance lobbyists behind the Medicare curtain!

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: 'grass-roots' campaign actually comes from health insurers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… ge,” the alternative to traditional Medicare that is operated by private insurance companies. The real sponsor of the ads is the real tenant of 601 Pennsylv …"

"… g and PR outfits in the nation’s capital. As I noted last week, several insurance companies make a boatload of money by participating in the Medicare Advant …"

"… And there was this thinly veiled threat in the POLITICO story from “an insurance industry source familiar with the campaign:” “If CMS doesn’t keep M …"

Selective outrage over federal health care costs

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Conservatives slam risk fund for insurers, but have nothing to say about Medicare Advantage.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… wn as the Medicare Advantage program. …"

"… s by conservatives that Obamacare will actually result in a bailout of big insurance companies. Under the headline, “Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping …"

"… it potential initial losses of insurers selling policies on the new health insurance exchanges. I reminded the FOX producer that Republicans have been support …"

"… Act knew that insurers would be reluctant to participate in the new health insurance exchanges — also called marketplaces — if the government didn’t crea …"

Obamacare and emergency rooms: a bit of perspective needed

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: Oregon study cited by critics requires perspective.

Excerpts from this story referencing "insurance":

"… t even more crowded. And that’s because more Americans will finally have insurance.  Reform advocates have long suggested that getting folks out of the …"

"… costly care from hospitals’ emergency rooms. ‘Those of us with health insurance are also paying a hidden and growing tax for those without it — about $1 …"

"… a bit of twisted logic in that paragraph. It is true that those of us with insurance pay considerably more for it because those who don’t have it often can …"

"… e” to its insured customers. Researchers have estimated that people with insurance pay $1,000 more a year for it than they would if this cost shifting didn …"

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