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a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Insurans cignaensis

Posted by Thomas Nephew on April 29th, 2010

Health care activist Marc Stier has been attending and protesting the Cigna 2010 annual shareholders meeting.  Yesterday he mentioned on Facebook that the health insurance giant had finally confirmed reports that it had been making payments to the Chamber of Commerce — a bitter opponent of health care reform in any meaningful form — even as Cigna professed to be supporting health care reform:

Today, for the first time, CIGNA admitted to making secret payments to the Chamber. They won’t tell even their own stockholders how much money they sent through the Chamber but there is now no question they did so.

He got a snarky comment from one “Bob”* saying, essentially, “I’m shocked, shocked!” As a friend of mine replied:

Well, Bob, it’s kind of a big deal b/c they were making public statements about loving the idea of reform and getting all those uninsured ppl coverage so they could have access to the best health care system in the world. Their collective heart bled for the ppl who suffer or so their mouthpiece, Karen Ignani told us. Secretly funneling millions to kill reform is something that is, in fact, you know, newsworthy.

Millions that might have paid for a few more health-related procedures — but that’s not really the point of all those premiums, is it.

But Bob, *I’m* with you: you and I already know what sanctimonious liars, compulsive cheats, incorrigible frauds, ruthless sociopaths, and bloodsucking intestinal parasites the health insurance companies are — it’s just their nature, it’s not really news.  For my part, I see this report as just a little piece of the puzzle towards an objective, scientific monograph on the species:

Insurans cignaensis has no eyes, vestigial limbs, and a rudimentary but highly specialized brain; like all members of the Insurans genus, it is incapable of survival without a host country.  I. cignaensis’s body has evolved down to a fastening and rasping mouth, a digestive system, and reproductive organs issuing payments to shareholders, PACs, and (recent studies have shown) to symbiont organisms like C. commerce. While certainly unappealing in appearance and life cycle, it is truly a triumph of economic evolution in the Corporazoic Era.

=====
* Not his real name.
UPDATE, 4/29: Also on Facebook, activist Cate Poe noted
additional news from the shareholders meeting: “When asked whether the company would end the practice of dumping customers that file expensive insurance claims, known in industry parlance as “purging,” [CEO] Cordani expressed no interest in doing so. He remarked that “purging” was an “unfortunate” term he would work to change in the industry without addressing the practice itself.” So parasitic behavior I thought was ruled out is still in. I. cignaensis rules!

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