Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce must distance itself from health insurance giant Humana and remove its representative from its board of directors after Humana used its Medicare patient list to lobby seniors against health insurance reform.
Larry Rambo, Great Lakes Region CEO of Humana is a current board member of WMC. According to figures compiled by One Wisconsin Now’s WMC Watch, Rambo is among the board’s most active political givers, having made dozens of contributions to Wisconsin political candidates and elected officials totaling in excess of $46,000.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is saying the Humana mailing may have run contrary to federal law. In the mailing, Humana customers were treated to a more-than-dubious claim that “millions of seniors and disabled individuals” to lose “important benefits and services” under the health insurance reform plans being debated before Congress. The letter also directed customers to contact their elected officials.
And so Medicare customers expecting important medical information from Humana were instead treated to industry-manipulated propaganda. Anything less than public condemnation about this practice by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is approval of one of the most scandalous activities so far in the Republican-corporate effort to derail health insurance reform.
To the claim itself: it’s bogus. The Medicare Advantage program is all about moving more seniors into private health care plans. Any proposed change to the Medicare Advantage program ensures (Socialism Alert) seniors would still receive all the benefits under the government-run Medicare plan.
Medicare Advantage is a great example of how the health insurance industry pollutes the delivery of the right care, the first time at a reasonable cost to the American people. Once private insurance got involved in a Medicare plan, costs rose. Thirty cents on every dollar more, estimates say.
So, we’ll see if WMC endorses the deceiving of Medicare patients by Humana — who is working with Republicans in all-out battle to prevent health insurance reform that ends the stranglehold insurance companies have on America.
If you’re sitting next to me on the bus, I’ll be the one not holding my breath.