Outrageous insurance company practices have been in the spotlight all year (like the recent revelation that 'history of domestic violence is a pre-existing condition) but a lot more critique seemed to break through the din this week. (See CW’s exposure of internal insurer documents on other uninsurable conditions – like being a firefighter, or an expectant dad.)
The best critique of the week? One that took the industry’s side. Will Ferrell’s “Protect Insurance Companies” PSA.
Will Ferrell: “So why is Obama trying to reform health care when insurance companies are doing just fine making billions of dollars in profits?”
Turk from Scrubs: “Obama why?”
Funny. This of course as the Senate Finance committee finally started marking up Baucus’ long-awaited version of a health care bill. One of the biggest complaints came from Democratic colleagues that the chairman’s mark is unaffordable. It required some families to spend up to 20% of their income on health care, and charged them $3,800 in penalties if they couldn’t afford coverage.
If I had to guess, I’d say Baucus put out an outrageous mark so he could quickly turn around and say he’d answered colleagues’ concerns with new amendments that didn't make any changes he wasn’t counting on. His changes on affordability sure didn't do much to reduce the amount that middle-class families would have to pay to private health insurers.
On Wednesday Barney Frank continued the focus on the administration's financial reform plan with Treasury Secretary Geithner testifying to the House Financial Services committee. I’ve never seen a witness smirk so often, so make of it what you will, but this isn’t the first indication that SecTreas is a little snarky.
And yesterday I saw my all-time favorite fundraiser theme repeated at Senator Burr’s "Krispy Kreme Fundraiser." (Yes, that’s a theme. See?) Those Krispy Kreme lovers who don’t have $500 to shell out at the next event can drop by the Dupont Circle store. Just be warned that their HOT sign doesn’t actually mean hot donuts.