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Blog Post
3/1/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
President Lyndon Johnson faced hard choices in 1964: Preserve Democrats' majority in Congress, perhaps for decades. Or ram through landmark civil rights legislation proposed by the slain John F. Kennedy, plus Medicare health coverage for seniors--and lose the whole bloc of so-called Southern Democrats, Strom Thurmond among them. Substitute Blue...
Blog Post
2/24/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
When Wellpoint CEO Angela Braly doesn't like a question, she's a regular Houdini of evasion and blame-shifting. Her testimony in front of Congress today managed to turn denial of health care into "efficiency" and put the blame for 39% yearly premium increases onto Blue Cross policyholders who dared to get sick. Braly described the...
News Release
2/24/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: Carmen Balber, 202-629-3043; or Jerry Flanagan, 310-889-4912
Group Urges House Subcommittee to Expand Hearings, Investigate Possible Insurer 'Shell Games' in Justifying Massive Premium Increases Washington D.C. -- The House subcommittee grilling Blue Cross chief executive Angela Braly today should expand its financial examination of Blue Cross and its parent, Wellpoint, to include billions of...
News Release
2/22/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: Jerry Flanagan, 310-889-4912; or Carmen Balber, 202-629-3043
Washington, D.C. -- The consumer group that pioneered the most successful insurance premium regulation law in the nation, California's Proposition 103, today said only the extension of such "prior approval" regulation to health insurance can begin to make insurance affordable in the wake of double digit premium increases that have...
Blog Post
2/16/2010
Posted by Jamie Court
Kevin Sack hits it right on the head in today's New York Times with his story about how Anthem's 39% premium increase in California embodies the need for health care reform, just as my colleague Dugan did last week when she talked about how Anthem had "jumped the shark." Some of my colleagues at Consumer Watchdog spent the weekend...
News Release
2/9/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: Jerry Flanagan, 310-889-4912; or Carmen Balber, 202-629-3043
Consumer Watchdog Also Warns Against Insurer-favored 'Cost Solution': Selling Policies That Amount To 'A Cardboard Box to Replace Our Apartment' Washington, DC -- Blue Cross has opened an opportunity for lawmakers and regulators with its premium hikes of up to 39% in California, said Consumer Watchdog. In the face of questions from the White...
News Release
2/1/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: Jerry Flanagan, (310) 889-4912; or Carmen Balber, (202) 629-3043
Consumer Watchdog Also Releases Dozen 'Better Than Nothing' Reforms To Curb Insurance Abuses, Aid States    Washington, D.C. -- Consumer Watchdog issued a warning today in a letter to President Obama and Congressional leaders against the health reform fallback proposals of some Congressional moderates, including deregulated national...
News Release
1/26/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: Jerry Flanagan, 310-889-4912; or Carmen Balber, 202-629-3043
Washington, D.C. -- Consumer Watchdog urged President Obama to watch Sunday’s Dateline NBC documentary on patients who have insurance but not adequate coverage, then pledge in his State of the Union address tomorrow to deal with the lack of legal accountability for insurers and lack of adequate representation for consumers in the federal...
Blog Post
1/19/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
The Washington Post today has an eye-opening story today on how a family ended up in crushing debt at an "in-network" hospital apparently jammed with out-of-network doctors. Tens of thousands of dollars later, their little boy's rare and deadly heart defect is at least semi-fixed, but the family finances are in ruins. It's a problem that...
Blog Post
1/18/2010
Judy Dugan
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said little about health care, though the one fragment that is quoted leaves no doubt about where he stood: “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and the most inhumane.” The quote is hard to confirm (see notes below), but health care proponents losing ground to a fear...