Aug
28
2009

NYT Stands Up for the Little Insurance Company Employee

It's about time someone stood up for the poor insurance companies! The New York Times today delves into what it's like to be "Dealing With Being the Healthcare 'Villains,'" eliciting sad stories from nice people who work for big insurance companies and feel they're under attack.

Times reporter Kevin Sack tells us, "Some workers said that unlike other contributors to the country's healthcare problems–the doctors who overprescribe, the hospitals that fail to control infection, the consumers who do not take care of themselves–insurance companies are faceless, impersonal and distant." Sack and the NYT to the rescue! Let's put a face on these victims.

Humana's employees want the politicians to know that, in the words of Aerion V. Miles, a customer service team leader, "We are human beings, too."

This is seriously absurd. Health insurance company employees are clearly not the villains; it's the private insurance system (and if you had to put a human face on it, the CEOs). What is happening is their jobs are being threatened by the possibility of lower insurance company profits, which the Times has managed to turn into a piece on how these employees do things like volunteer at a local hospice, so jeez, why are they under such heavy assault? The New York Times is not that stupid–but it apparently does think its readers are stupid enough to fall for pure insurance industry PR.

About Julie Hollar

Managing Editor of Extra! Magazine
Julie Hollar is the managing editor of FAIR's magazine, Extra!. Her work received an award from Project Censored in 2005, and she has been interviewed by such media outlets as the Los Angeles Times, Agence France-Presse and the San Francisco Chronicle. A graduate of Rice University, she has written for the Texas Observer and coordinated communications and activism at the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas. Hollar also co-directed the 2006 documentary Boy I Am and was previously active in the Paper Tiger Television collective.