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Class War For Idiots / October 22, 2009

insurance-sterilize-closeup1

Just when you thought you’d seen all the health-insurance evil possible, now comes another shocker: a UnitedHealth subsidiary in Colorado denied coverage to Peggy Robertson, mother of two, because she wasn’t sterilized after her caesarian-section delivery procedure, according to a letter made public. Almost 1/3 of all deliveries are done by c-section–meaning that in Colorado and likely elsewhere, fertile women are regularly denied coverage unless they agree to sterilize their wombs. This comes after reports that a health insurance company considered rape to also be a “pre-existing condition.” The meaning is clear: America’s health insurance industry hates us all, and they hate fertile women most of all, if only because they represent two detestable Americans in one body. 

In the letter, UnitedHealth’s Colorado subsidiary tells Robertson that normally they would simply waive coverage on her womb for a period of three years following a c-section, but since Colorado banned pre-existing waivers, poor UnitedHealth had no choice but to deny the mother of two coverage of any sort [full letter below, hat tip to eXiled Online reader Tyler]:

In order to consider coverage without a rider, we require certain requirements to be met. One requirement is that some form of sterilization has occurred since the caesarian section delivery. Also, women age 40 or over, who had their last child two or more years prior to applying for coverage, will not require a rider.

The letter was dated 2007–that same year, UnitedHealth profits rose to over $4 billion, on earnings of over $70 billion, pushing the company’s Fortune 500 ranking up to number 21 from 37 in 2006. 2007 was an interesting year for UnitedHealth on a lot of fronts: the SEC slapped a $468 million fine on the CEO, William McGuire, who created the UnitedHealth monster, for stock option fraud. That may sound like a serious punishment until you realize that UnitedHealth gave McGuire a golden parachute retirement package worth $1.8 billion–on top of his 9-figure annual pay packages.

This year, UnitedHealth was forced to pay $350 million to settle a class-action lawsuit after it was discovered that UnitedHealth used a rigged database designed to defraud American doctors and policyholders.

Watch Peggy Robertson explain how UnitedHealth is preventing her from having a third child here:

No wonder UnitedHealth denies coverage to rape victims and fertile mothers: UnitedHealth is the largest mass-rapist in America, why the Hell would it want to cover people for something they’re doing every minute of every working hour? And who hates fertile wombs more than serial rapists?

Golden Rule Insurance Letter — Sterilize or Die

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

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44 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Expat in BY  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    At least with Belgostrakh (Belarusian State Insurance), you can get coverage for pregnancy without someone asking for the pregnant woman to be sterilized. Reading this, I’m so glad we didn’t try to bring my wife to give birth in the States.

    That’s messed up when a post-Soviet state-run medical system can outperform what’s available with American health insurance coverage.

  • 2. Nestor  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Wow…

    it’s real comic book villain stuff.

  • 3. Dan  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    This article is misleading through omission to the point of being dishonest.

    You leave out some very important facts:

    “”
    ..She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again, and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule did not want to pay for it. A letter from the company explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying, she might have qualified.

    Ms. Robertson had been shopping around for individual health insurance, the kind that people buy on their own. She already had insurance but was looking for a better rate. After being rejected by Golden Rule, she kept her existing coverage.
    “”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/health/01insure.html

    From your essay it appears that she was unable to procure health insurance and was thus left uninsured, which is incorrect. One particular company refused to allow her to switch to their medical coverage plan.

  • 4. Dan  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    BTW – I also feel that this policy is disgusting and quite evil, regardless.

  • 5. Dan  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    But again – what’s the option? Socialism? Please understand that you cannot control capital without controlling people.

  • 6. Ex-pat  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    “From your essay it appears that she was unable to procure health insurance and was thus left uninsured, which is incorrect. One particular company refused to allow her to switch to their medical coverage plan.”

    Entirely beside the point, Dan – or are you implying they would’ve behaved differently had she been entirely uninsured?

    A sordid and reprehensible policy.

  • 7. Seryoga!  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Dan, are you really going to defend a company that makes so much money, it gives its vampire leach CEO a multibillion dollar retirement package. Are you fucking insane??? Or are you the bottom in the William McGuire’s sado-mado slave dungeon. You’re the Gimp, is that it? Moron!

  • 8. Seryoga!  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    For Russian speakers – on prosto tupoi amerikos ebti! Ebany cavboi blya!

  • 9. captain america  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    i don’t think health insurance providers hate us. they just want to make a lot of money, however they best can.

  • 10. Quadrillion Dollar Man  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    To Dan:
    The “option” is to free the medical care market and stop treating households like feudal tenants of their employers for insurance that doesn’t actually allow risk classes.

  • 11. Mas.Litio  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Dan,

    Let me get this straight: according to you, the only two choices are putting up with this type of bullshit, or “socialism,” presumably Pol Pot-style socialism, right?

    Did I accurately summarize what you were trying to say? God forbid, I should misrepresent you.

    Dan, if you believe that, you are a fucking pinhead, full stop.

  • 12. az  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    “Please understand that you cannot control capital without controlling people.”

    Believe me, I’d rather have government controlling me than the plutocrats as it is now. That way it’s only the government that’s the problem, which can be changed, not the government AND the plutes, which can’t be.

  • 13. Mas.Litio  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I would just like to point something out…

    The woman in question is remarkably articulate and also in reasonably good shape for an American chick that has had two kids.

    Judging by her speech patterns and her level of health, she is probably upper-middle class or at least comfortably middle class.

    I guess it used (key word) to be that having decent health insurance was a given for middle-class Americans.

    As for now, who the fuck knows…

  • 14. Paul Yarbles  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Dyn Rand sez: “Please understand that you cannot control capital without controlling people.”

    And under Capitalism the converse is also true. That is, you can’t control people without controlling capital.

  • 15. Brad  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Sigh…. nothing surprises me about this country anymore…

    I’m almost at the point that I eagerly await the day when China owns us and controls us. At least THEIR leaders know how to run a fucking country, unlike here.

  • 16. thomzas  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Dan, the government can intervene in private business and capital, it’s called regulation and the federal bank.

    Regulation is needed as companies keep proving they will bleed you dry if you’re a customer, work you until you drop if you’re an employee, and dispatch you swiftly if you don’t look like you’re able to make them a quick and easy buck.

    Don’t kid yourself that business is a noble enterprise.

  • 17. sonic  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    “Please understand that you cannot control capital without controlling people.”

    So lets leave it as it is, with capital controlling us.

  • 18. General Foods  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Please be nice to Dan. He is a Libertarian. A Libertarian is a vampire fluffer. It’s a thankless job. Vampires have no respect for their fluffers, and neither do we. Deep down, all Libertarians wish they were vampires, but they never get to be one, because they don’t understand how things work, the way effective vampires do.

  • 19. slavko  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Dan is a troll, obviously.

  • 20. T. Hallman  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    The other component of a fertile womb is an erect johnson. That’s the pre-existing condition needed to make a womb dangerous. Only limp peckers are acceptable. Except limp peckers are also a pre-existing condition, so either way men shouldn’t qualify for medical insurance.

  • 21. Brad  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    So the gist I’m getting is that Dan’s basically sucking off Bill Compton from True Blood.

  • 22. Plamen Petkov  |  October 23rd, 2009 at 3:59 am

    hey Dan, 3 words for you: Federal Reserve Board. Look them up and learn what they do before even putting words such as “controlling capital” and “socialism” in the same sentence.

  • 23. Ms. Ivitcejbo  |  October 23rd, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Thanks for the explanation Dan, I understand what you mean and it sounds much more reasonable now. The insurance company simply refused to cover her unless she got herself sterilized. They gave her a choice: “bitch, either sew up your womb or don’t get our insurance”. That’s definitely controlling capital and not people. Not at all.

  • 24. Halop  |  October 23rd, 2009 at 6:16 am

    How stupid are you ppl???

    If you’ve ever eaten farmed meat and don’t like the way this country is run then you’re not just a moron but a hypocrite. Chickens are bred, raised killed and breaded (ha ha) for only one reason. They provide their yummy flesh for our dinner table, manure for fertilization, feathers for pillows, etc etc. They are smart enough to understand that their lives don’t belong to them. Neither do yours! You were bred to work, consume and die. HOW DARE YOU RESIST THE NATURAL ORDER?! You have no rights that your farmers don’t allow you. So don’t fuck with the farm lest you become unprofitable and unnecessary. Don’t forget there’s millions of Chinese, Mexicans, Burmese who would give their kidneys so that they could serve your masters, and they give more with less bitching.

  • 25. Rosemary  |  October 23rd, 2009 at 7:12 am

    “My baby! My baby!”

    @8: У вас хуй в чай . . . глупая сука.

  • 26. brian  |  October 23rd, 2009 at 7:20 am

    People use to believe that applying leaches was a means of cure
    Today many still believe the same about the American Health Insurance Industry that leaches 15% plus of every health dollar for non treatment
    They are evil incarnate
    They are a clear and present danger to all Americans and have killed more Americans than Al Queda ever will

  • 27. Needs to Be Liberated  |  October 23rd, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Congrats Ames! You now have paid health insurance corporate shills bombarding your comments! You’ve really hit the big time now, baby!

    Dan, go back to shill school.

  • 28. Brad  |  October 23rd, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Yeah, go back to sucking off Bill Compton Dan! And other vampires, like the fat bastards who own the health care companies that pay you for your oral favors.

  • 29. Chris  |  October 23rd, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Dan,

    You call the article dishonest, and then try to redefine the issue in a way that essentially just describes exactly what the article was attempting to point out. You call attention to an almost non-existent semantic inconsistency in the rehash of the mechanics of the what happened, however, the end result is the same:

    The woman was denied coverage because she still has the ability to have children. She could be covered if she chose to be sterilized. This means that the only way to get coverage for anything including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and every other possible disease, is if she has invasive surgery done to take away her ability to reproduce. This is the exact essence of the problem with the privatized health insurance, and why there should be a public option. Profit takes precedence over the human right to live. Funny, its basically the same side of the political fence, that supports free market healthcare, that also supports (I mean manipulates for votes) pro-life. Sort of a conflict, don’t you think? How stupid do you think people are? Your doublespeak is pretty weak, my friend. Go crawl back in your hole, scumbag.

  • 30. ema  |  October 23rd, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    First, the business of an insurance company is to make a profit off of interposing itself between the patient and her physician. As long as this practice is in place, we can hardly be surprised when an insurance company acts accordingly (the risk of a VBAC/repeat C/S>NSVD).

    Second, least we forget it’s quite acceptable for the State to force pregnant women to carry to term, and for our politicians to require that female patients of reproductive age (and only them) undergo a certain degree of physical trauma before they may be permitted access to proper medical care.

    Why exactly should we begrudge an insurance company the right to jump in and join the crowd, as it were, with a sterilization request?

    After all, it’s not like this particular patient population is actually able to make its own medical decisions. Forced abortions, deliveries, sterilizations, etc; it’s all good.

  • 31. :>  |  October 24th, 2009 at 1:38 am

    H.L. Mencken had something to say to anti-libertarians:

    The fact is that liberty, in any true sense, is a concept that lies quite beyond the reach of the inferior man’s mind. He can imagine and even esteem, in his way, certain false forms of liberty – for example, the right to choose between two political mountebanks, and to yell for the more obviously dishonest – but the reality is incomprehensible to him. And no wonder, for genuine liberty demands of its votaries a quality he lacks completely, and that is courage. The man who loves it must be willing to fight for it; blood, said Jefferson, is its natural manure. More, he must be able to endure it – an even more arduous business. Liberty means self-reliance, it means resolution, it means enterprise, it means the capacity for doing without. The free man is one who has won a small and precarious territory from the great mob of his inferiors, and is prepared and ready to defend it and make it support him. All around him are enemies, and where he stands there is no friend. He can hope for little help from other men of his own kind, for they have battles of their own to fight. He has made of himself a sort of god in his little world, and he must face the responsibilities of a god, and the dreadful loneliness. Has Homo boobiens any talent for this magnificent selfreliance? He has the same talent for it that he has for writing symphonies in the manner of Ludwig van Beethoven, no less and no more. That is to say, he has no talent whatsoever, nor even any understanding that such a talent exists. Liberty is unfathomable to him. He can no more comprehend it than he can comprehend honour. What he mistakes for it, nine times out of ten, is simply the banal right to empty hallelujahs upon his oppressors. He is an ox whose last proud, defiant gesture is to lick the butcher behind the ear.

  • 32. Johnny  |  October 24th, 2009 at 1:49 am

    The government will fix it – ROFL. As if the health insurance industry didn’t write the healthcare legislation. And, although the Federal Reserve can print all the currency it likes, money does not grow on trees as you will find out in the fairly near future by the looks of things.

    Dumber than a bag of hammers, the lot of youse.

  • 33. fodder  |  October 24th, 2009 at 11:34 am

    31. Cool, you found the Libertarian equivalent to, “The fool hath said in his heart…”

  • 34. az  |  October 24th, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    31: Sorry, all libertarians are still cocksuckers and becoming one won’t make you any kind of superior being, but it will make you a cocksucker.

  • 35. Pablito  |  October 25th, 2009 at 5:08 am

    You’re right, this could never happen if the nice friendly government ran everything! Boy, do I trust my local Congressman!

  • 36. T. Hallman  |  October 25th, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    @ ! ~ % 24. Halop

    “How stupid are you ppl???”

    Square root of -1 x 10 exp 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288 gigaparsecs. That’s an imaginary times and irrational times unbelievably enormously stupid, so stupid it’s impossible to imagine even irrationally. Really, really, really very, very stupid, that’s what.

  • 37. Dan  |  October 27th, 2009 at 1:34 am

    Some of you people seem to be unable to distinguish between the fact of this company’s policy being extremely fucked-up and possibly unconstitutional with the fact that this article purposely omitted several very pertinent facts in order to make the story seem worse than it is. Lying, or in this case exagerrating, through omission, is wrong even if you feel that it’s for the purpose of making a better point of a cause in which you believe. If you think that it’s OK for an article to lie as long as it supports your basic viewpoint, or it’s ok that the article lies because hey, the company is so evil, you need to fucking check yourselves.

    Fine in Moscow articles that are supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, Hungry Duck and tochka stories etc, but lately it seems like a fair amount of braindead “toe the new party line or else” Americans are taking these as seriously as they’d take something written on a non-propaganda, unbiased site such as alternet. Hey, who cares if it’s true, as long as he’s on our side?

    God forbid someone should criticize the personality cult in office right now or its policies.

    To the rest of you that responded with nonsense: “Seriousness is stupidity sent to college”. Jumping on this bandwagon makes yall feel educated and progressive without actually having to be. Who needs facts when it *feels* right? Hope, progress, change. Hope for what? Progress to where? Change from what to what? Who asks? It “sounds right”. Da zdrastvuet revolutsityu sounded good too but the only people who enjoyed living under that were those who didn’t.

    And to the rest of you that responded with just profanity go fuck yourselves. Pederasty na xuy

  • 38. Lazz  |  October 27th, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Dan,

    You have shit for brains.

  • 39. Lazz  |  October 27th, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Johnny,

    The government runs good healthcare in many countries. The money spent actually goes on health care too. Not to making insurance companies rich.

    The quality of free healthcare in the UK, Australia and Canada is just as good as what you pay for in the USA. Everybody is covered and patients are treated depending on their needs, not their income.

    So you are correct in saying the government will fix it. Thanks for your support, Comrade.

  • 40. Asher  |  October 30th, 2009 at 8:47 am

    The woman wants something for nothing. It’s not the insurance company paying for the potential future C-section but the other premium-payers. A 25 year-old single male with no health problems is then forced to subsidize this woman, if he’s in the same health plan.

    She’s selfish, greedy and predatory.

    To all you people advocating socialized medicine: be careful what you wish for. When that day comes the people who pay the bills are going to have a say in how you live your lives. BTW, I welcome a socialized medical system, because it will give society more power to withhold treatments from the socially unnecessary or destructive.

  • 41. Johnny D.  |  November 2nd, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    @ Asher:

    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah…ahahahahahahahaha….ahahahahaha…

    heeheeheeheeheehee… hehehehehehe…

    hmm. ahem.

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

  • 42. aleke  |  November 4th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    @Asher

    lol

    @Dan

    lol

  • 43. Twisted_Sister  |  November 6th, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Come on. One company denied her. Have you ever been denied auto insurance at a place like State Farm because you had too many tickets?

    It’s their fucking company — let them run it how they want to. Stop acting as if they have some form of control, because trust me — if the risk wasn’t there, another company would be competing with a lower price.

    That’s the thing most people don’t understand about capitalism —
    There are OTHER PEOPLE in the game … Companies actually DO try to lower prices because it attracts more customers, and more profit. If she doesn’t qualify for their lower rates, so be it.

    I mean really if you believe what GR did is wrong, where is Michael Moore when he should be picketing State Farm for me? Come on!

  • 44. Teskulon  |  August 10th, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Covering white people’s C-Sections means that you’d have to cover black people’s C-Section’s too.

    And no insurance company wants that.

    Lesson: If you’re white don’t use an insurance company that’s big enough to serve the ghetto, as they will enact their ghetto policies universally. And if you’re white, definitely don’t post comments on a website, because only a total fucking loser cracker who needs to kick someone else around would do such a thing.


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