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A Socialist Carol

17 November 2013 @ 01:52


From Yahoo News and Reuters, we learn [tip of the fedora to Weasel Zippers]:

UnitedHealth Group dropped thousands of doctors from its networks in recent weeks, leaving many elderly patients unsure whether they need to switch plans to continue seeing their doctors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The insurer said in October that underfunding of Medicare Advantage plans for the elderly could not be fully offset by the company’s other healthcare business. The company also reported spending more healthcare premiums on medical claims in the third quarter, due mainly to government cuts to payments for Medicare Advantage services.

The Journal report said that doctors in at least 10 states were notified of being laid off the plans, some citing “significant changes and pressures in the healthcare environment.” According to the notices, the terminations can be appealed within 30 days.

Excerpt From ‘A SOCIALIST CAROL’, Starve I:

“At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge, … it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and elderly, who suffer greatly at the present time because they have received their cancellation notices. Many millions are in want of primary care physicians, sir.”

“Are there no state exchanges?”

“Plenty of state exchanges…”

“And the Death Panels.” demanded Obenezer Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”

“Both very busy, sir…”

“Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course”, said Scrooge. “I’m very glad to hear it.”

“Many can’t go to the exchanges; and many would rather die.”

“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Seeing clearly that it would be useless to pursue their point, the gentlemen withdrew. Scrooge resumed his labours with an improved opinion of himself, but not pleased at all that these troublesome men would cause him to bogey this hole.

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