Courage Campaign Demands Covered California's Chief Resign

A day after we ran a post about Covered California’s chief promoting health insurance consolidation and fewer consumer choices, Courage Campaign’s executive chairman, Dr. Paul Song, has asked that Peter Lee resign. 
“In an op-ed this week, Covered CA’s Peter Lee advocated in favor of even more insurance consolidation which would further reduce choices and competition for consumers and result in ever greater narrowing in California’s already limited provider networks. This represents the antithesis of the original rationale behind having an insurance exchange,” Dr. Song said in a statement. 
"He says bigger is better for consumers. It’s an outrageous position for the head of an agency Californians counted on to negotiate with health plans.
In his op-ed, Lee neglected to mention that 75% of the California policies he negotiated have narrow physician networks – defined as including 25% or fewer physicians in an area.  By contrast, nationally, 41% of plan networks were considered narrow.
"Narrow networks are the new premium hikes. Patients in them often don’t get to use their health insurance because they can't get an appointment with an in-network doctor,so they have to pay out of pocket for care. "
In his resignation demand, Dr. Song said that Lee is more interested in the overall success of the insurance industry than he is about the best interests of California consumers.
“Plain and simple - when consumers have less choices, the State has less negotiating power with insurance companies, consumer costs rise and insurance company profits continue to skyrocket,” Song said. “We need someone who will look out for consumers first and foremost, rather than be a fox guarding the hen house. It is clear that Peter Lee is an agent of the insurance industry and should resign immediately.”

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