Vintage Jon Stewart on Anthem Blue Cross…

As my colleagues witnessed the Assembly Health Committee hearing on the Anthem Blue Cross rate hikes, and prepare for the Congressional hearings in DC (where I am this week), it’s good to remember that this isn’t the first time that Anthem Blue Cross has been in the spotlight.

As we note on the website, they happen to sell the only insurance product worthy of mockery in an entire segment of The Daily Show, back in 2005.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Rest Assured – Tonik
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Targeted to 19- to 29-year olds, Tonik was a prime example of how Anthem Blue Cross of California has been aggressive in its business model to collect premiums from young and healthy people and avoid people who actually may need care.

[Small note: beyond its mockery of Anthem Blue Cross, the segment has perhaps the best health policy chart I have seen, accurately explaining the reasons young people may not have coverage. Despite the notion of “young invincibles,” the chart shows that few of the uninsured are “too extreme” and that the main reasons are that many young people are “too poor” or “too sick.” Appropriately, health reform would resolve that by preventing denials for pre-existing conditions, and providing subsidies so coverage is not more than a percentage of income.]
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