Taking on the Health Insurance Industry, One State at a Time

Editor's Note: The following is a press release from Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

With a series of events in states across the country, SEIU will call attention to health care insurance industry tactics that do more to ensure profits than insure patients.

On Tuesday, August 5, SEIU members and other health care consumers will hold events targeting the insurance industry in Iowa, New Hampshire and Oregon. Participants will distribute information to the media, provide first-hand accounts, and demand answers from the companies. In the coming weeks, additional events will be held in Colorado, Rhode Island, Washington, Missouri and other states. Details on Tuesday’s events can be found below.

“Big oil isn’t the only industry making record profits while consumers struggle to keep up with rising prices,” said SEIU President Andy Stern. “Insurance companies are charging more, covering less, and getting rich in the process. And it’s the American people who are paying the price.”

According to a new report examining financial trends in the insurance industry, the combined profits of the nation’s largest insurance companies and their subsidiaries increased by over 170 percent between 2003 and 2007. The report, which is available in full at www.nwfco.org, adds to already compelling evidence that the insurance industry is using deliberate tactics designed to maximize profits by raising premiums, co-pays and deductibles; refusing coverage or charging exorbitant rates to people with pre-existing conditions; and even retroactively denying coverage to people with insurance. Here are the facts:

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