Alexander Joseph

Issues: Race, LGBT rights, poverty Health Care, delivery of essential social services. My argument for health care reform:

One way or another, the fate of health care reform is going to be decided in the next few days. If House Democratic leaders find 216 votes, reform will immediately become law. If they don’t, reform may well be put off for many years — possibly a decade or more.So this seems like a good time to revisit the reasons we need this reform, imperfect as it is.

As it happens, Reuters published an investigative report this week that powerfully illustrates the vileness of our current system. The report concerns the insurer Fortis, now part of Assurant Health, which turns out to have had a systematic policy of revoking its clients’ policies when they got sick. In particular, according to the Reuters report, by investigative reporter Murray Waas, it targeted every s policyholder who with H.I.V., looking for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, for cancellation. In the case that brought all this to light, Assurant used an obviously misdated handwritten note by a nurse, who wrote “2001” instead of “2002,” to claim that the infection was a pre-existing condition, and revoked his policy.