Earlier this week I wrote a diary about Catherine Seipp.
Ms. Seipp is a columinst for the National Review Online.
You can read the diary, Extremist NRO columnist battling cancer & Blue Cross here:
Ms. Seipp was not pleased to be profiled in Daily Kos. She referred to us as "Kos's Krazy Korner".
I pray for the health of Ms. Seipp.
I also pray for all the Blue Cross of California enrollees who are being denied treatment and cancelled by Blue Cross and it's parent company Wellpoint.
You can read everything she has to say about Daily Kos here:
I may have been too harsh on the Washington Monthly commenters the other day. They're actually geniuses compared to these Daily Kos commenters, who imagine, among other things, that I'm an "extremist NRO columnist;" that I'm "for single-payer insurance NOW" but argued strongly against it before; that I'm a doctor and therefore part of the problem because I colluded with the evil insurance companies; that I wasn't allowed to write the L.A. Times op-ed about my problems with Blue Cross for National Review, or that I was just afraid; and that "conservatives never worry about the well-being of others. It just never occurs to them that they might get sick." One silly person even added that she was a "two-time cancer survivor," and therefore (presumably) her thoughts have special weight.
Here's what I say to Ms. Seipp. Not so fast.
Take a look at the compensation of Wellpoint Chairman, Larry Glasscock.
Larry Glasscock is the chairman of Wellpoint. Larry made the Business Week 50
The Business Week 50 is a list of the 50 highest paid executives in the U.S.
Larry C. Glasscock WellPoint Inc. $1.3 MILLION $46.2 MILLION [the first number is Total Value of Options (Latest Fiscal Year), the second number is Total Compensation (Latest Fiscal Year)]
You can read the entire list here:
You can run but you can't hide, Mr. Glasscock.
In addition, this morning, the Los Angeles Times reports:
WellPoint Posts 20% Profit Gain
The health insurer cites lower medical costs plus higher revenue from rising membership in the wake of acquisitions.
Well of course medical costs are lower if treatment is retroactively denied.
Of course medical costs are lower if patients like Catherine Seipp face increased deductibles and suspended coverage for life saving medication.
Here's what she wrote about her battle with Blue Cross of california.
Or so I thought -- until I began getting letters from Blue Cross in February announcing that it was retroactively disallowing the anti-cancer drug Avastin treatments it had been paying for since October, at $5,000 a pop every other week. It seems Blue Cross decided this new and expensive targeted therapy is experimental. (It looks as if Blue Cross is not asking to be repaid for my relatively unexperimental chemo, which had been costing about $2,500 every single week, but who knows?)
You can read her sad story in the L.A. Times here:
Ms. Seipp, don't you recognize that you are a victim of this utterly failed, utterly broken health care system? Doesn't the report in the L.A. Times of soaring Wellpoint profits deeply outrage you?
WellPoint Inc., the nation's largest health insurer with more than 7 million members in California, saw first-quarter profit rise 20% on the heels of acquisitions and growing membership, the company said Wednesday.
The report, however, gave more fodder to consumer and doctor groups who say the industry's rising profitability is due to a consolidation trend that is pushing up premiums and lowering compensation for physicians.
Ms. Seipp, with all due respect, what you write about single payer is not accurate. If you remove for-profit insurance companies from the equation, you will not face corporate bean counters tasked with maintaining a robust bottom line, making medical decisions.
I doubt that single-payer health insurance would work in this country, although perhaps it might -- in which case cancer patients would probably face the same arguments with government bureaucrats that I've had with Blue Cross, because no system is perfect. But that wasn't what my piece was about.
Ms. Seipp, we're not crazy at Daily Kos. We're deeply worried about the broken system and 47 million of our fellow citizens who lack health insurance and access to health care.
Ms. Seipp, we believe you should not have to battle your insurance company for life saving medications. Ms. Seipp, we believe in the United States of America in 2006, health care should be a basic human right.