Tuesday, August 19th, 2008 (517) 999-3646

United Healthcare is part of bogus campaign to fool public

FARMINGTON HILLS – Citizens and healthcare reform groups rallied today outside the United Healthcare headquarters to unmask the insurance industry’s role in a bogus campaign to fool the public and protect its massive profits and a broken system.

The American Health Insurance Plan recently sent a front group into Detroit as part of a national “listening” tour to allegedly gather input from citizens. The front group did not fully inform the public about the event, withholding basic details such as time, location and advanced invitations for the public to attend.

“The citizens of Michigan need a real Michigan solution to the healthcare crisis, not a bogus publicity stunt,” said John Freeman, Director of Health Care for America Now – Michigan. “Michigan families are struggling to protect their jobs and get quality affordable healthcare for their families. A phantom ‘listening’ tour like this isn’t going to distract us from the fact that the health industry is trying to protect a broken system.”

The rally involved groups such as Healthcare for America Now-Michigan, Gamaliel, SEIU Healthcare Michigan, Michigan Citizen Action, Progress Michigan and Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network.

United Healthcare is located at 33533 West 12 Mile Rd. in Farmington Road. The insurance company is part of AHIP, which created the front group currently visiting communities to appear as though it is working to find a solution to the spiraling healthcare crisis. At its secretive Detroit roundtable, the group admitted that there are major problems with the healthcare system – but then went on to blame the federal government, doctors and hospitals for rising costs while refusing to acknowledge private for-profit insurance companies role in ever sky-rocketing healthcare premiums. AHIP’s front group refused to address key issues such as lowering insurance rates, premiums and co-pays so people can afford health care or holding the insurance industry accountable for how it sets rates. The health insurance industry has raked in record multi-billion-dollar profits in recent years.

“We can’t rely on the insurance industry to solve the problem they created and then made worse,” Marjorie Mitchel of Michigan Universal Health Care Action Network said. “Michigan citizens need a solution they can count on.”

The Healthcare for America Now – Michigan campaign will pressure elected leaders at the state and federal levels to make important changes to fix the broken healthcare system, including fighting to make sure health insurers do not put profits before people’s healthcare needs and creating a system that will let people choose a public plan so they are not at the mercy of private, for-profit insurers.

“This campaign will work to hold the insurance industry accountable,” said Nick Ciaramitaro, Legislative Director of AFSCME. “The insurance industry needs to start putting people ahead of profits. The public needs another option so no one is left behind.”


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