AHIP is officially full of it.
They’ve put up a fact sheet about yesterday’s stop in Detroit that attempts to counter our pointing out their shady behavior:
Washington, DC (August 13, 2008) – Health Care for America Now – an unprecedented coalition of labor unions, large community-based groups, women’s groups, doctors, nurses, small businesses, think tanks, and leading netroots activists – asks why the insurance industry’s front group – America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) – is hiding the place and time of the second stop on its so-called listening tour.
“The health insurance industry claims it wants to listen to the people on how to reform our nation’s health care system. How do they expect to get real, honest feedback when they sneak around the country holding secret meetings in undisclosed locations?” says Richard Kirsch, National Campaign Manager, Health Care for America Now.
AHIP launched its sham listening tour in Columbus, Ohio on July 22, 2008 and was met with grassroots opposition of more than 200 people protesting the insurance industry’s shameful practices of putting corporate profits before people’s health. Today, it continues its charade with a meeting in Detroit, MI announced quietly with no indication of where or at what time.
No one from HCAN on the ground in Michigan – and we have solid infrastructure there – had any idea AHIP was holding an event.
Public forum? One of the largest churches in the area? Talking to union leaders and members? Recruiting participants? Please.
They snuck in and snuck out and are now trying to make it look like they planned and carried out a well-attended event. According to the Detroit Free Press, 6 women participated. 6:
Readus, Gorecki and Goolsby were three of six women who met at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit at the request of the health insurance industry group AHIP, America’s Health Insurance Plans. They talked to Chief Executive Karen Ignagni about their health care and insurance issues. This was AHIP’s second meeting on health care reform in its Campaign for an American Solution.
Also, AHIP says a half dozen reporters showed up to the event. I’ve seen just this one article, and trust me, I’ve been looking.
These are the people we’re asked to trust when they say things like, “We’re working with you this time. We’re coming to the table to find a solution. We care.”
The insurance industry has no one’s best interest in mind except its own. AHIP should save us all the trouble and just stop pretending. It’s embarrassing.
UPDATE: Oh, this is rich. I just got an email from AHIP touting their sham. Classic. If they were holding a real listening tour, wouldn’t they announce they were coming to town rather than publicize the stop once they’d already left?