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Practices in Health & Disability Insurance - The Lives & Wealth They Cost America
Date:10/17/2007

SANTA ROSA, Calif., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Health and disability insurance companies are systematically cheating the American public.

The results of an investigation of practices by health and disability insurers and their effect on America are detailed in this new JustHealth- funded study.

Insurers provide no healthcare goods or services.

Health insurance costs are rising 2-to-3 times faster than inflation. Medical debt is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy.

We pay much more per capita and get less healthcare than the rest of the industrialized world.

Approximately 16% of Americans are uninsured, 18,000 die prematurely each year because of this. Many more die because their insurers delay, diminish, or deny payment for promised benefits.

Reports about people dying from insurer misconduct seldom receive broad coverage in the media. Lack of media coverage has led to a nation uninformed about how our national health policies are controlled by the insurance industry.

Insurance companies are in business to make as much money as possible. They do so by systematically delaying, diminishing, and denying payment for promised services, and blaming individuals for their own misfortune.

On the boards of directors of the 9 largest insurance companies are 113 people. They hold 150 past and/or present positions with major financial or investment institutions, and are connected to some of the largest corporations in the world. Their combined affiliations represent 2006 revenue of over $2,500,000,000,000.

They spend millions on campaign donations, lobbying and media saturation to convince us that we need them, despite overwhelming evidence that we would all be better off without them.

Spending for administrative costs associated with health insurance exceeds 30% of health care costs in the US...and insurance companies provide no health care. They are just middlemen.

Americans have a choice: continue with a profit-driven insurance system in which insurers systematically delay, diminish, and deny promised benefits -- leaving millions of Americans without necessary care; or we can build a common pool health care system that provides necessary care to everyone -- for less than what we are paying now.

-- Peter Phillips: Professor of Sociology, Sonoma State University and Director of Project Censored. Bridget Thornton: graduate student, Interdisciplinary Studies Program. All statements above are fully documented in their new study "Practices in Health Care and Disability Insurance: Delay, Diminish Deny and Blame" -- http://www.justhealthnow.org.


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SOURCE JustHealth
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