These So-Called Extra Benefits?

California regulators are seeking $9.9 billion in fines from health insurer PacifiCare for allegedly mismanaging medical claims, such as losing thousands of patient documents, failing to pay doctors what they were owed, and ignoring calls to fix the problems. The Department of Insurance says PacifiCare violated state law nearly 1 million times from 2006 to 2008 after it was bought by UnitedHealth Group. Adam Cole, the insurance department's general counsel says, "This is about intentional disregard for the interests of doctors, hospitals and patients in California, and the pursuit of cutting costs at any means possible. It's a story of intense corporate greed." Meanwhile, health insurers across the country have “asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits” they are required to provide under the recently passed health care law. These so-called "extra benefits" include no longer having the right to dump or deny kid's coverage because they got sick. Republicans are using the rate increases to demonize Obama's health insurance reforms, while insurance companies like UnitedHealthcare, which California is going after for more than a million crimes against consumers and the state, keeps on it's CEO Stephen J Hemsley, who took over $400 million in compensation for his first five years on the job, and whose predecessor, Bill McGuire, took over a billion and a half for his first ten years as CEO. If the companies just cut CEO pay, no rate increases would be necessary.

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