Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Coventry Health Care Inc Loss of Moral Compass

Tuesday's Tirade
The Lessons of Bernie Madoff
“The people said, ‘Let His blood be upon us and upon our children.’ At that, he (Pilate) released Barabbas to them. Jesus, however, he first had scourged.” ~Second Sorrowful Mystery of the Holy Rosary

Startling news this week. And, yet, not so startling to those of us who fully understand how a family member’s indiscretion and/ or ruthlessness will haunt generations to come. Mark Madoff, eldest son of Bernie Madoff is dead. At his own hands.

The sins of the disgraced father were passed on to his sons.

I frequently ponder why people are so ruthless in the health insurance industry? Coventry Health Care, Inc is much more cruel and uncompassionate than Bernie Madoff ever was. Madoff never preyed on the poor and helpless. What makes these tyrants behave as they do? Are they are so arrogant that they never think that they will be caught?

And then the unthinkable happens.

What is about to happen in a court of law in small city of  Wheeling West Virginia (Christine Stenger v Carelink Health Plans, Inc of West Virginia and Patrick Dowd) has serious implications for many others across our great nation. What is about to happen in Wheeling West Virginia is that a systemic evil in the healthcare industry will be revealed to a jury of my peers. Peers who are likely sick of the rich becoming richer at the cost to our poor, to ourselves.

Some day, sooner and not later,  the truth will begin to set us free. Daily there are hints that something is being stirred within the ranks of the common people across this country. We are all beginning to reach our limits and realize our obligation and power to confront evil.  We must.

Sadly, on that day, there will be mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, spouses and children who, like Mark Madoff,  will feel betrayed and be disgraced, people whose lives will turn upside down as did the world of Mark Madoff.

When one loses one’s moral compass, deceit enters. Only truth will shatter that deceit. We must pray for the many innocent who will suffer. We must pray for those who committed the egregious deeds, as they will have to live with the knowledge that their loved ones will suffer unbearable heartache for the rest of their lives.

For power and money. At what cost?

Would Bernie Madoff want to change history if he could have Mark’s life back?

Tuesday’s Tale

West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane Cline: A Shameful Situation

The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." ~Albert Einstein

The state government of West Virginia is allowing a large health care insurer to rip off the public. West Virginians suffer at the hands of this improperly rated "Excellent" company. We live with the highest rate of depression and obesity, among many other ills.

The Offices of the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner's website states they “offer a variety of services for both the consumer and the insurance industry to ensure that quality coverage exists throughout the state.” It is the duty of Jane L. Cline, Insurance Commissioner, to insure health plans provide quality service to West Virginia consumers. For Cline, however, injustice has become the law over an unsuspecting public.

On December 14, 2006, Cline signed Final Order 06-AP-024 that regulated Carelink Heath Plan Inc's future dealings with processing consumer requests for benefits. In making this judgment Cline judged after a legal proceeding that Carelink had committed "egregious" deeds against me. To prevent this from happening in the future to others, Careink was ordered to carefully review each incoming request of its consumer to insure proper processing.

Cline willfully abused her office to, in effect, support the healthcare industry. Carelink ignored the order.

As the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, Cline is a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). As such, Cline has a duty to follow NAIC’s Codes and Bylaws, which include the following:

• A state regulator's primary responsibility is to protect the interests of insurance consumers, and the NAIC helps regulators fulfill that obligation.

• The mission of the NAIC is to assist state insurance regulators, individually and collectively, in serving the public interest and achieving the following fundamental insurance regulatory goals in a responsive, efficient and cost effective manner, consistent with the wishes of its members.

• Conflict of Interest Policy: In furtherance of the Mission of the NAIC, it shall be the policy of the NAIC that all member (i.e., Commissioners, Directors, superintendents or other chief insurance regulatory officials) shall act in a manner that reflects the highest standard of ethical conduct and members shall avoid any activity or situation where their personal interest could conflict, or give the appearance of a conflict, with their fiduciary duties to NAIC. All members shall follow this Conflict of Interest Policy unless subject to a more stringent state policy.

• NAIC members are obligated to avoid “any activity or situation where their personal interest could conflict, or give the appearance of a conflict, with their fiduciary duties to NAIC.” Return to my tirade dated October 14, 2008: West Virginia Insurance Regulation AWOL.

So what do we think about Cline? Cline frightens me.

Our state government is infested by evil. Many times in the last three years I have heard the outcry, “the West Virginia Insurance Commission is owned by the insurance industry.” And now Cline's poison maybe infesting yet another regulatory agency, NAIC, an agency that is formed to provide protection to the consumer.

And, herein lays a perplexing problem.

In an improbable twist of fate, Jane L. Cline was the President of NAIC for 2010. Yes, a Commissioner who refuses to enforce a significant final order she signed in 2006 to regulate how HMOs must now do business in the state of West Virginia, wields her power and control over a national body of regulators. This alarming news has dreaded ramifications.

Many months prior to Ms. Cline's becoming president, I wrote the then President of NAIC, Ms. Sandy Praeger, a certified letter requesting an investigation of Jane Cline, offering a lot of incriminating evidence against Cline. No response. Yet another closed door.

What next? The troubling news about our economy brings with it some good news. Lack of government oversight is being blamed for much of our economic collapse. The future will demand much more regulation over the present display of self interest at the cost of the common good.

In God's time, and with your help the light of justice will shine on Cline. As the public learns, new voices will rise.

The new social media is enabling many to be loud, clear, and demanding to a wider, now available, audience. Just google "Christine Stenger" and "Christine O'Brien Stenger" and discover how just one person's voice is making a difference.

The tide is changing. There are many of us who know this as truth.

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