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Rockefeller: ‘The health insurance industry is the shark that sits right below the water.’

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"Rockefeller: ‘The health insurance industry is the shark that sits right below the water.’"

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Today, the White House has been hosting the Bipartisan Health Care Summit, where “the one topic that Democrats keep hammering on over and over is the problem of insurance companies refusing to cover people with preexisting conditions.” For example, during the summit today, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) ripped into the abusive behavior of insurance corporations, saying that the industry “is the shark that sits right below the water”:

ROCKEFELLER: The health insurance industry is the shark that swims just below the water and you don’t see that shark until you feel the teeth of that shark. … This is the way they operate. Nobody has any oversight over them. They’re not under any anti-trust rules. They can do what they want. … This is a rapacious industry that does what it wants.

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The “rapacious” behavior that Rockefeller condemns includes raising premiums to increase their profits, denying coverage to women who have had Caesarean section pregnancies, and rescinding coverage of customers for frivolous reasons. Kevin Drum notes that Republican “have been relentlessly trying to talk about everything but this. They’ve barely acknowledged the preexisting conditions problem at all.”

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