Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spooky health care corruption- and spookier job realities in Wisconsin

1. Here's more pay-to-play in this corrupt administration, as health insurers have convinced Walker donator and Insurance Commissioner Ted Nickel to ask for an Obamamcare waiver that would allow it to spend less than 80% of premiums on actual medical care. The complaint is that 6 of Wisconsin's insurers can't make it on less than 20% overhead.
They are: Humana Insurance Co., a unit of Humana Inc.; Golden Rule Insurance Co., a unit of UnitedHealth Group Inc.; Time Insurance Co., a unit of Assurant Health; Mega Life & Health Insurance Co., a unit of HealthMarkets Inc.; and American Republic Insurance Co. and its affiliate, World Insurance Co.

The companies spent from 65 cents to 72.9 cents of each dollar in premiums on medical care, according to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance. Combined, they have about 35% of the market for individual insurance.

"When you are looking at 35% of the market, you want to avoid as much turbulence as possible," said J.P. Wieske, a spokesman for the insurance commissioner.

Wisconsin has the most competitive market in the country for health plans bought by individuals and families, according to an analysis released this month by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Consumers would not lack for other options if a health insurer left the Wisconsin market.

I thought Republicans were all about improvements through efficiency and competition? Guess that mentality ends when providing more service and competition threatens corporate profits, because after all, the goal of government is to protect profit over people's well-being (Wait, it's not supposed to work that way in a civilized society? Softie). So instead of demanding that they run their needed service in a more efficient and customer-friendly manner, these health insurance corporations should be allowed to shovel more blood money from citizens toward the salaries of bureaucrats that deny coverage. What a load of crap. As mentioned earlier, the complaints Dennis Smith and the Walker hacks have against Obamacare show that maybe it's a better plan than we thought.

And one of the Scummy 6 doubled-down on their hypocrisy, as Humana announced they had enough money around to potentially hire 130 more people in Wisconsin. In a stunner, Humana employees also gave generously to Scott Walker and Scott Fitzgerald in 2010, as well as Alberta Darling once she was up for recall, so you don't think these donations have anything to do with asking of a waiver for the 80% rule for Humana, do you? And now they can use these projected additional jobs as blackmail, saying "if you don't give us our waiver, we won't add these jobs." So much for public health "service." Sickening.

And of course, most of these projected jobs are in a GB service center (people who decide claims...and deny them), or in sales (trying to convince companies to take on their insurance). You think that's going to give Humana policy holders any kind of insurance break, allowing them to have more disposable income to grow our economy? Yeah, riiight. You know it's going right back into CEO pay and in the form of more donations to the Fitzwalkerstanis.

2. Then again, I think Scotty and co. will take any job creation they can. In addition to being 49th in the nation in job performance since the GOP budget was passed, Wisconsin reached another dubious jobs-related honor this week. The state with the biggest increase in unemployment claims last week (see the end of the report). HUZZAH! Guess that Brewer stimulus is ending, and given the NBA lockout, we know a few hundred seasonal Bucks jobs are going down the tubes for the rest of this year as well.

Somehow, I'm guessing these facts aren't making it to Walker's taxpayer-funded "results" website. But we'll make sure they're RECALLED.

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