08 September 2010

PacifiCare Facing $9.9-Billion Legal Action

Today, we're learning that the inevitable is happening:  The czars of the nation's largest health insurance oligarchies are poised to clobber us with huge rate hikes and blame it on health care reform, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Meanwhile, republican dough-boy strategist, Karl Rove is leading a campaign of disinformation composed of lies, damned lies, distortion, and omission.  Clearly, they're banking on using their lies and damned lies to foster big wins in November, so they can continue their campaign of destruction of the middle class, and further enrichment of the already obscenely wealthy insurance czars and drug company oligarchs.

All this has not passed unnoticed.  Back in June, I wrote of Humana's back-tracking on promises regarding their Medicare Advantage plans.  At that time, some right-wing, insurance company apologist, named Dave Fiflit, of Iowa, took me to task for not knowing of what I was writing and challenging my command of the facts.  "Dave of Iowa" fell silent, after I took him by the hand and led him to the truth!

Now, in an in-depth, copyrighted, investigative-story by reporter, Duke Helfand, of the L.A. Times, we find out that California is launching what amounts to a $10-billion action against mega-insurance company, PacifiCare.  That state's Department of Insurance claims 1-million violations of state laws by PacifiCare after it was bought out by America's largest health care insurance company, United HealthGroup inc.  (This was the crux of the argument "Old Dave of Iowa" gave me back in June.  He was willfully ignorant of the fact then that United had acquired Secure Horizons).

California has a lengthy laundry list of claimed abuses and violations, which include; "...intentional disregard for the interest of doctors, hospitals and patients in California with the pursuit of cost cutting above all else", according to, Adam Cole, the state's insurance department's general counsel.  The state's legal claims include allegations that the insurance giant mismanaged medical claims, lost thousands of patient documents, failed to pay doctors what they were owed, and ignored calls to fix the system.

A PacifiCare PR-flack issued a typically lame response, "...PacifiCare pays its claims promptly and accurately."

Cole said, "It's a story of intense corporate greed."

California is seeking a $10,000 fine for each of the 992,936 violations it alleges, potentially making it the biggest action of its kind.  The vast dimensions of the case were revealed as it was under review in a California administrative law court this past year.

Earlier, the state's Department of Managed Health Care ( a separate entity from the one now pursuing PacifiCare) fined and collected from the insurance giant, $2-million, over allegations that it had improperly denied medical claims for HMO policyholders.  PacifiCare paid, but denied wrongdoing.

Our suggestion is to keep a close eye on this case.  You can be certain that Attorneys General, and other agencies, of cash-strapped states across the nation will.  And, you can also be certain that the greed, misfeasance, arrogance, and abuses of  the Humana/Secure Horizon/PacifiCare and all other corporate kith and kin are not isolated to California.

This is the second time, we've reported on the nefarious dealings of this huge health-care insurance oligarchy.  It will not be the last.

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