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AARP Is Just Caught in the Middle of the Debate – Its the Algorithms That Call the Shots, Not Memberships in Senior Organization

Posted Aug 17 2009 10:37pm

I’m trying to understand what Grassley is really doing here and exactly what is the plan and/or benefits to be derived.  Let’s go back a few months image and look at his investigation of AARP and the insurance they offer. 

Senator opens investigation into AARP insurance

His investigation lead to this AARP voluntarily stopped marketing some of their offered health insurance plans including some policies offered by Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group.

Algorithms, Formulas and Investigations leads to AARP suspending sales of some health plans

Again, it gets very confusing for the stand that he apparently seems to be taking with not being in favor with a national plan as he himself lead an investigation into finding health insurance carriers that either “tricked” or mislead consumers with the types of plans offered, and/or the policies turned out to be of little benefit to the seniors, just due to the type of high deductible/capped coverage they were offering.  How does one stand so solid on a national option when his own committee found issues? 

"The indemnity plans are not designed to be comprehensive insurance, nor should they be communicated in this manner."

American Seniors offers Humana as I found on the website who just recently filed a protest against United Health Care for cutting the cost and taking a big Tri-Care Military  Contract from them.  On the same page, HealthNet also filed a complaint and 2 days after the announcement of United getting the Tri-Care contract, they sold a big chunk of their northeast business to United Health Care.  Let’s also not forget what Wendell Potter told us about Humana and how they function. 

Wendell Potter Speaks on PBS with Bill Moyer on Health Insurance Reform – The Industry Did Not Keep Their Word (Video Previews)

There are problems with all carriers and by jumping from one to the other organization, it’s just the same carriers, different package and marketing,as far as the health insurance portions of their business.  Will United Health Care begin outbidding Humana at American Seniors in the future?  Who knows, but something to think about. 

In short, the new group has no profound effect in speaking only of healthcare reform as it is the same old players, the same ones Senator Grassley himself has investigated for unfairness, so what gives here? 

Again, I just wonder where these 2 senior organizations really come in to play, with the Senator stalling or not supporting a national alternative, but he himself has had to reign in one major company on how they operate and now says trust them?

Again, it’s all in the algorithms that the business intelligence software runs and how much we will allow to function without audit tables and a sufficient check and balance, not emotional town hall meetings where nobody is walking away with much knowledge or information.   Cancelling membership in AARP and going to the other group is a personal choice, but it has nothing to do with how reform will take place, and I don’t really understand why the media feels a need to tie this in, just more stuff that clouds issues and gets in the way. 

From another point of view too, with all the Grassley publicity that AARP received and also being somewhat bitten themselves on what they could market, perhaps they too are tired of the lack of transparency when they thought they could offer insurance in good faith with some policies, but soon found out otherwise with the heat of the Senate breathing down their backs, the same folks now who back away from a national plan.  Bottom line, new laws need to work with and cite new technology to be effective, not emotional town hall meetings that upset everyone and get nothing accomplished.  BD

(CBS) CBS News has learned that up to 60,000 people have cancelled their AARP memberships since July 1, angered over the group's position on health care.
Elaine Guardiani has been with AARP for 14 years, and said, "I'm extremely disappointed in AARP."
Retired nurse Dale Anderson has 12 years with AARP and said, "I don't want to be connected with AARP."
Many are switching to the American Seniors Association, a group that calls itself the conservative alternative as CBS News Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports.

Thousands Quit AARP Over Health Reform - CBS Evening News - CBS News

Related Reading:

Senator opens investigation into AARP insurance

Ingenix Data Base Has Some Long Reaching Legal Tentacles with Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Humana

“Beware of Geeks Bearing Formulas”…Warren Buffett
How Wall Street Lied to Its Computers – Software and Programming
The 2 New Hot Words in Healthcare: Algorithms and Whistleblowers
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