Worth Noting

Sticking With the Facts ? Response to Dean on Medicare Claim Denials

November 04, 2009

While discussing the health care debate with Governor Howard Dean at the Penn State Distinguished Speaker Series, I made the point that the public option will undoubtedly have the same results as Medicare, which denies reimbursement claims at almost twice the rate of private insurers. Governor Dean insinuated that I was a liar and accused me of “making up” this fact and continued to argue that government-run insurance was the only way to improve our health care system.

At the debate, I promised to continue the discussion and back up my position in today's Wall Street Journal column. I've done so and have provided citations so you can make an informed decision about who had their facts straight and who didn’t. In the op-ed I also analyze the perils of the Pelosi Public Option and how Tuesday’s elections should be an ominous sign for Democrats who continue to support it.

In an effort to stick to the facts, I've posted the source of my claim, American Medical Association’s "2008 National Health Insurer Report Card." I would direct your attention to Metric 12 on page five, which breaks down the “percentages of claim lines denied.” As you will find, Medicare denied the highest number of claims, or 6.85% of total claims filed in 2008, while private insurers in the group denied almost half the amount, or an average of 3.89% of total claims filed.

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