Could the Public Option Save Children From Insurance Discrimination?

October 21 2009, 12:06 PM
Earlier this month, little-big Alex Lange of Grand Junction was denied health insurance, apparently because he was too fat. Then, as the media swarmed, Rocky Mountain Health Plans suddenly changed course and dubbed Lange healthy, claiming a flaw in the underwriting system. Now, add Aislin Bates to the list of Colorado babies discriminated against by health insurance companies. Her problem? At two years old, she weighs 22 pounds, which is considered too skinny, according to UnitedHealthcare's Golden Rule (via 7News). What would those who support a publicly funded option in health-care reform say about denying these children care? And is that option even possible following recent proclamations of its death? Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, along with Governor Bill Ritter, are part of the re-surging movement to keep it alive, notes Square State. In a letter on Up or Down, the Dem trio implores fellow lawmakers not to filibuster any vote on a public option: "Even if you oppose a public option, we urge you not to hold it hostage with the threat of the filibuster. Stand up for the people, not the insurance industry, and give the public option the up-or-down vote it deserves." Meanwhile, The Hill reports top Democratic lawmakers in D.C. want to "re-brand" the public option as Medicare Part E, or "Medicare for Everyone."