U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich sent letters dated Wednesday to Aetna Inc, Cigna Corp, Humana Inc, UnitedHealth Group Inc and WellPoint Inc, among others.
The letter asks the companies' CEOs to testify at a September 17 hearing about "the nature, cost/benefit, and impact of administrative measures and protocols used by the health insurance industry to determine coverage."Kucinich, a Democrat, chairs the domestic policy subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, the AP reports that
White House health advisers held an hourlong conference call Tuesday night with close to 3,000 physicians and officials of their professional groups in which they tried drumming up support by answering questions and describing the administration's goals, participants said.
Before the call, the White House e-mailed a 12-page booklet to medical associations titled "Doctors for Health Insurance Reform." The brochure stated the administration's case for revamping the nation's health care system and suggested ways doctors could call attention to the issue.Among the suggestions: Hosting local events on health care, giving tours of hospitals or designating a "Health Insurance Reform Week" during which events could be staged around the country.
I expect that the budget deficit news this week will trump these efforts and sympathy for the passing of Sen. Kennedy and lead to a small scale reform bill, but time will tell.