Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Media Matters "Shatters" / Enlightens the purposefully dark untrue myths put out by CRP

Via Stand with Dr. Dean -

Report reveals truth behind Rick Scott and CRP's allegations against the public option healthcare plan

By Joe Frandino

SEIU’s Change That Works Health Care Campaign has produced a detailed rebuttal to “Bulldozer” that the Media Matters Action Network has posted below.

Media Matters Action Network released this report on June 5, following Rick Scott and Conservatives for Patients’ Rights’ controversial segment that was directed at combating the public option health-care plan…

CPR Wants Viewers To Believe That The Health Insurance Market Is Large And Varied

FALSE CLAIM: “There are hundreds of choices of health care plans today…” [Conservatives for Patients’ Rights “Bulldozer” Ad, 6/4/09]

FACT: Only A Few Insurance Companies Dominate The Market, Leaving Americans With Limited Choices In Health Care. According to the American Medical Association, 94 percent of United States health care markets are considered highly concentrated, meaning that one company or a small group of companies control a great deal of the market. [American Medical Association, “Competition in Health Insurance,” 2008 Update]

CPR Wants Viewers To Believe The Government Will Take Away American’s Choices

FALSE CLAIM: “This government-run plan could crush all your other choices, driving them out of existence…” [Conservatives for Patients’ Rights “Bulldozer” Ad, 6/4/09]

FACT: Public Plan Will Only Drive Out Inefficient Private Plans, Leaving Consumers With Greater Choices And Better Care Options. According to Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) chairman Glenn Hackbarth’s comments on National Journal’s health care blog, “some private plans will not survive this competition – namely, plans that do little more than offer free-choice of provider, fee-for-service coverage. We don’t need those plans; a public plan can do that better.” [National Journal’s Health Care Blog, 12/8/08]

FACT: Private Plans That Offer Lower-Cost Options And More Comprehensive Plans Will Be Able To Compete. According to the Urban Institute: “Private plans that offer better services and greater access to providers, even at a somewhat higher cost than the public plans, would survive the competition in this environment. It is also conceivable that private plans offering a lower-cost option – for example, lower premiums than the public plan, say by exploiting care management innovations, and network and payment rate limitations – could stake out a separate niche in some markets.” [Urban Institute, 3/18/09]

FACT:Many States Run Public And Private Plans Alongside Each Other Successfully. According to the Center for American Progress: “Today, state governments (all of which regulate insurance companies) operate public Medicaid programs, purchase insurance for thousands of public employees, and regulate insurers. In fact, many states successfully offer their employees and retirees private health insurance plans side-by-side with these states’ self-funded health insurance plans.” [Center for American Progress, March 2009]

CPR Wants Viewers To Believe The Government Will Remove Coverage For 119 Million Americans

FALSE CLAIM: “Government-run plan” will force “119 million off their current insurance coverage, leaving no choices in health insurance and government in control of your health care.” [Conservatives for Patients’ Rights “Bulldozer” Ad, 6/4/09]

FACT:CBO Director: Lewin Study Claims Are Overstated. According to National Journal’s Congress Daily: “CBO Director Elmendorf told Senate Finance Committee members and staffers he expects fewer Americans would migrate from private health insurance to a public plan than projected by the oft-quoted study by nonpartisan policy experts at the Lewin Group.” [National Journal’s CongressDaily, 5/20/2009]

FACT: Lewin Group Is Mouthpiece For Insurance Industry. The Lewin Group was “acquired” by Ingenix in 2007, according to the Ingenix website. Ingenix is “a leading health information technology company.” According to the New York Times, INgenix is the “database business” of UnitedHealth Group. [Ingenix.com, 6/12/07; New York Times, 3/31/08]

CPR Wants Viewers To Support Maintaining The Failed Status Quo

Rick Scott in “Bulldozer”: “It’s not too late. Protect your health care choices. Tell Congress to say ‘no’ to a government-run plan.” [Conservatives for Patients’ Rights “Bulldozer” Ad, 6/4/09]

FACT: Scott Has Made His Fortune Off Our Broken Health Care System

Scott was ousted by the company’s board of directors in 1997 in the midst of the nation’s biggest health care fraud scandal, which involved alleged Medicaid and Medicare fraud

Scott Received Nearly $10 Million In Severance And A 5 Year Contract With Columbia/HCA Following Resignation. Modern Healthcare reported that Richard L. Scott’s “$9.9 million severance included a five-year consulting contract with HCA.” [Modern Healthcare, 7/11/05]

Scott’s 5 Year Consulting Contract Paid $950,000 Every Year. According to the New York Times: “The Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation said yesterday that it had agreed to pay its former chairman and chief executive nearly $10 million when he was forced out in July in the wake of an unfolding criminal investigation of the company. The agreement with the executive, Richard L. Scott, provided for a one-time payment of $5.13 million, as well as a five-year annual consulting fee of $950,000, for a total of $9.88 million, according to a copy of a severance agreement included in the company’s quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.” [New York Times, 11/14/97]

Scott’s Severance Package Included $300 Million In Stocks. According to the Florida Times-Union, Richard L. Scott left Columbia/HCA “with a $10 million severance package and 10 million shares of stock valued at more than $300 million.”

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