Skip to content

Rationing? Death Panels? We already have them!

The Republicans keep repeating the lie that health care reform will institute “death panels” where government bureaucrats will decide who can have treatment and who will die.

So it is interesting to do a reality check and realize that the truth is that we already have death panels, but that they are run by the private insurance companies. In a shocking new study that is prompting investigations into wrongful business practices, the California Nurses Association analyzed data from California’s health insurance companies, and found that from 2002 through the first half of 2009, the health insurance companies rejected 45.7 million claims, which is a stunning 22% of all claims.

But the bad news is that the rejection rates are going up. If you only consider the first six months of 2009, PacifiCare rejected an almost unbelievable 39.6% of all claims. Other insurers are not far behind.

In other news from the health care crime syndicate, drug company Pfizer is paying $2.3 Billion — the largest criminal fine of any kind ever — for glaring health fraud. The size of the fine was in part due to the fact that this is Pfizer’s fourth settlement for illegal activities. My question is, if corporations are legally treated as persons, shouldn’t the three strikes law apply to this?