Club For Growth Ad Is Fear Mongering, Plain And Simple

August 04, 2009 1:04 pm ET

On August 4, 2009, Club for Growth announced the release of a new television ad that ups the ante on recent Republican fear-mongering regarding health care rationing.

Club For Growth, Fear Mongering Experts

Private Insurance Companies Already Decide How Much American Lives Are Worth

The Current Health Care System Puts American Families At The Mercy Of Insurance Company Bureaucrats:

Americans Face Denials For Coverage From Insurance Companies Every Day.  Americans are already facing the denial of treatments from their private insurance companies, according to the Wall Street Journal. As Diane Archer, director of the Health Care Project at Institute for America's Future recently argued in the New York Times: "As any doctor will tell you, when a private health insurance plan delays or denies a physician-recommended service, it is deciding who gets care and what kind of care people get." [Wall Street Journal, 9/25/08; New York Times, 5/8/09]

Insurance Companies Hire Agencies To "Do Computerized Searches" Of A Person's Health Record.  According to the Miami Herald, "to make sure that applicants are not lying, insurers hire a data-gathering service -- Medical Information Bureau, Milliman's Intelliscript or Ingenix Medpoint. Intelliscript and Medpoint do computerized searches of a person's drug use, gleaned from pharmacy benefits managers and other databases." [Miami Herald, 3/28/09]

Insurers Use The Data To Deny Coverage And To Charge Higher Premiums.  According to a Business Week report, "Two-thirds of all health insurers are using prescription data-not only to deny coverage to individuals and families but also to charge some customers higher premiums or exclude certain medical conditions from policies, according to agents and others in the industry." [Business Week, 7/23/08]

"Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions" Included In Coverage After An Individual Has Gone Without Health Insurance.  According to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured: "If an individual is uninsured for 63 days or more, pre-existing condition exclusions can be imposed by their new health plan for most health conditions for which treatment, advice or diagnosis were received in the six months prior to enrolling in an employer-sponsored insurance plan.  Insurers can typically refuse to cover medical care related to pre-existing conditions for up to one year." [KFF.org, accessed 1/14/09]

Some Insurance Companies Treat Caesarean Sections As A Pre-Existing Condition.  According to the New York Times:  "Insurers' rules on prior Caesareans vary by company and also by state, since the states regulate insurers, said Susan Pisano of America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group. Some companies ignore the surgery, she said, but others treat it like a pre-existing condition. 'Sometimes the coverage will come with a rider saying that coverage for a Caesarean delivery is excluded for a period of time,' Ms. Pisano said. Sometimes, she said, applicants with prior Caesareans are charged higher premiums or deductibles." [New York Times, 6/1/08]

American Reforms Will Not Be Modeled On The British System

Health Care Reform Will Be Uniquely American.  Sen. Max Baucus, who is spearheading health care reform from the helm of the Senate Finance Committee, said: "We are not Europe.  We are not Canada...We need a uniquely American solution.  It has to be a partnership of public and private players." [Washington Post, 5/11/09]

President Obama: "Keep The Private Sector Honest, Because There's Some Competition Out There."  During the Health Care Summit at the White House, Senator Grassley commented to President Obama, "there's a lot of us that feel that the public option that the government is an unfair competitor and that we're going to get an awful lot of crowd out, and we have to keep what we have now strong, and make it stronger." President Obama replied: "The thinking on the public option has been that it gives consumers more choices, and it helps give -- keep the private sector honest, because there's some competition out there. That's been the thinking. [Health Care Summit, Transcript via Talking Points Memo, 3/5/09]

"A Public Plan Would Provide An Essential Option" For Americans.  Harold Pollack, public health policy researcher at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration and faculty chair of the Center for Health Administration Studies, wrote in an op-ed: "A public plan would provide an essential option--and an equally essential backup--for millions of Americans living with chronic illnesses or disabilities." [The New Republic, 3/10/09]

Sen. Baucus: The Reformed Health Care System "Will Be A Public/Private Hybrid." American Prospect published a quote of Senator Baucus saying: "We need health insurer reform to get rid of preexisting conditions and other ways insurers discriminate. That's part of our plan here, and the CEOs of many larger insurance companies are on board. They know this change is coming. They may lose the current model but they pick up on volume with 46 million people coming into the system...And that will be a public/private hybrid. There may come a time when we can push for single payer. But that time is not yet, and so I'm not going to waste my time." [American Prospect, accessed 3/6/09]

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