Wellpoint’s Wrong Prescription…

While there’s a lot going on today, with the trigger hearing in Sacramento, and press events decrying the cuts in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and elsewhere, we would be remiss if we neglected a speaker from out-of-state.

The title is “Achieving Responsible Health Care Reform…and Getting It Right.”

Is it President Obama? Chairman Waxman? A prominent academic? No, amazingly (and gallingly, given the title), it is Angela Braly, the CEO of Wellpoint, the largest insurer in California ever since they managed Anthem Blue Cross of California.

Braly is speaking at Town Hall Los Angeles. We’ll be there, too, not to disrupt, but to educate Californians about the toxic role of Wellpoint/Blue Cross, both in the marketplace and in the public policy debate.

The groups leafletting, including Health Care for America Now and others who are actively working for health reform to win quality, affordable health care this year, will provide speech-goers and passers-by with information about Wellpoint’s actions, including premium rate hikes, rescissions, denials of care, and previous efforts attacking health reform. Wellpoint’s record shows why they and other insurers can’t be trusted to reform the health care system.

In addition to a range of organizations, we’ll also have the participation of a Blue Cross patient who found that her policy didn’t cover the breast cancer she eventually got.

But I simply find it shocking that Wellpoint, of all stakeholders, of all companies, is lecturing the rest of us on “responsible” reform and “getting it right.” Here in California, they opposed health reform from the beginning, as described at the website http://www.sickofbluecross.org/.

We’ll see what she says, but there’s no reason that we should trust her, Wellpoint, or the insurance industry with health reform.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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