Judge Says Public Cannot Record Hearing
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights was prevented by an attorney for Kaiser Permanente from tape recording the administrative hearing in Oakland regarding a $1.1 million fine against the HMO issued by the State.
“Kaiser does not want to answer in the light of day for its abuses,” said Jamie Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. “Kaiser only seeks to compromise the public forum of an open hearing because it has terrible secrets to hide. The public should have a right to hear testimony at public hearings.”
Steven G. Madison, a lawyer for Kaiser, the state’s largest HMO, asked the judge to stop the public recording of the proceedings, and the judge consented. Kaiser has contended the issue in the case was the fining authority and jurisdiction of the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). Throughout the morning’s testimony attorneys for Kaiser sought to reinforce that the health plan was separate from the exclusive medical group of doctors that it employs and that the HMO has no responsibility in the death of the patients.