Join Occupy Washington, DC Oct. 28 for March on Health Insurance Lobbyists

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—October 28, 2011. 

FRIDAY     October 28, 2011        11:30 am

Freedom Plaza   13th St and Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Health professionals and students will march to AHIP at 6th and Pennsylvania Ave., NW and then to the US Chamber of Commerce at 16th and H Sts. They will wear scrubs and white coats and Dr. Mike Huntington, one of the Mad as Hell Doctors, will sport a hospital johnnie and plastic buttocks. 

They will tell the lobbyists that the 99% includes health professionals and they find the way medical industrial complex influences the White House and Congress to line their pockets at the expense of human lives and suffering is unacceptable.

Health professionals say “Human needs not corporate greed,” “Health care is a human right” and “People not profits, Medicare for all!”

Wendell Potter, author of “Deadly Spin,” has been invited. He recently wrote:

“I am now watching how America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) is getting Obama administration officials to write the regulations required by the Affordable Care Act in ways that benefit insurance companies more than consumers. And I have talked to administration officials who have quit their jobs in disgust as the White House has repeatedly sided with insurers rather than consumer advocates, as important regulations were nearing completion.

Here’s an example. Earlier this summer, the administration announced rules pertaining to new rights we supposedly now have, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, to appeal decisions made by insurers that don’t go our way. When the Department of Health and Human Services quietly released the regulations in late June, consumer advocates realized that insurers had, for all practical purposes, written them.

As Sabrina Corlette of Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute wrote, the administration narrowed the range of issues consumers can appeal, gave insurers up to 72 hours, rather than 24 hours, to made decisions on emergency care claims and weakened a provision requiring health plans to provide enrollees with information about their appeal rights in understandable language. Administration officials also cut in half the number of days patients have for appeals and allowed insurers to frequently choose their own “judge and jury” when their enrollees request an external review.

Just last week, AHIP’s muscle was on display when the Institutes of Medicine released guidelines for the Obama administration to follow in establishing the “essential benefits package” that all health plans will have to offer on the health care exchanges, or insurance marketplaces, beginning in 2014.

In January, an AHIP executive warned the IOM about making the benefits package too “rich.” Insurers want the package to be as skinny as possible, which will enable them to continue selling plans that, in many cases, are inadequate for many peoples’ needs.

The IOM’s recommendation is almost exactly what AHIP suggested.”