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Al Lankford

Al Lankford is a former state and federal regulator of the U.S. health insurance industry-- and now consults and speaks on that issue.

The usual suspects have been attacking Obama for “demonizing” health insurance companies; but saying that people do terrible things isn’t demonization if they do, in fact, do horrific and inhumane things.

And health insurance companies do, in part because they have huge financial incentives to act in an inhumane way — most obviously, by revoking coverage when people get sick, using whatever rationale they can devise.

Read this report by Murray Waas on Assurant Health (previously called Fortis), which used a computer algorithm to identify every client with HIV, then systematically revoked coverage on the flimsiest of grounds.

The South Carolina Supreme Court, in upholding the jury’s verdict, ruled that it agreed with the lower court’s finding that Fortis destroyed records to hide the corporation’s misconduct. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Hoefer wrote: “The lack of any written rescission policies, the lack of information regarding appealing rights or procedures, and the separate policies for rescission documents”.... constituted “evidence that Fortis tried to conceal the actions it took in rescinding his policy.”

Fortis canceled Mitchell’s health insurance based on a single erroneous note from a nurse in his medical records.