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March 17, 2011

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This is all well and good, except that the real purpose is to provide health insurance companies with a reliable means to exclude people who appear healthy, yet will likely develop (expensive) health problems within a short time frame.

For insurers, the best part about this is that rescission (revoking of coverage after a person has paid premiums for a long while) is the standard means of win-win denial of health care. After Joe Q. Public has paid into MegaConglomco's coffers for 50 years or so, he starts to show signs that he'll develop, say, myelodysplasia, or perhaps his wife Jane will develop breast cancer. Drugs for those are expensive, so if you work at Megaconglomco, you issue a rescission notice to Joe and Jane, informing them that their failure to notify Megaconglomco of Joe's stubbed toe and Jane's high school acne means that they had pre-existing conditions. Therefore, thanks for your half-century of premiums, please go away and die quietly so we don't have to pay for your Vidaza and Avastin.

Ch-ching! Megaconglomco's CEO can now sail a 135-foot yacht in the annual regatta, not some paltry 100-foot deal like those chumps from Mutual of AllFarm. Everybody wins!

Well, except for the insured. But they're peasants, if they were real Americans, they would have been born to wealthy and/or powerful parents. Isn't predictive analytics wonderful?

Plus, this frees up cash to defend against lawsuits and pay for astroturfing campaigns on the local news, when Joe and Jane's daughter is denied a life-saving (and readily available) kidney transplant.

You, too, can help Megaconglomco to "create jobs" (in India), be "environmentally friendly" (by reducing the population), and "control costs" (by killing people instead of paying for health care). And it's all Open Source, so Megaconglomco won't even have to pay you a license fee!

What is "$3.2M in prizes"?
That could be anything... $3.2M worth in cash, oatmeal, pigs..?

@LoveSASLove, what an odd comment! It's clear from the announcement that the prizes will be paid in cash, not livestock.

@Jay, agreed that recission is an evil practice on the part of health insurers, but Heritage Health is a *provider* network, not an insurer. Seems like they'd stand to lose, not gain, if fewer people went to hospital.

Mr. Goff is probably referring to the Otto S. Raddatz story who ultimately got his treatment. As for the CEO divide the compensation by employees or subscribers and you'll see it isn't that much.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125314896131518267.html

http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/Media/file/Hearings/Oversight/061609IndividualHealthCarePlanRescissions/Testimony/Raddatz.pdf

Heritage Health and Kaggle's idea about the statistical model that would predict the number of days a person is likely to spend in hospital would help a lot people financially. Patients, including their families, would be able to calculate their hospital bills since they would know how long they would stay inside the hospital.

actos bladder cancer.

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