Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CMC membership scam

One of the largest pro-advantage plan advocacy groups is the "Coalition for Medicare Choices." This industry created "citizens' group" claims hundreds of thousands of members. I recently got a letter from a blog reader who writes:

Not long after I turned 65, I started receiving repeated robo-calls from CMC. Although the law requires that robo-callers provide a mechanism for opting out of future calls ("press 1 to speak to a representative; press 2 to have your number removed from our list"), CMC gave only a single option. One day, instead of simply hanging up, I pressed 1, thinking I would get a person who could have my number removed. No such luck. I got a different recording, thanking me for having joined CMC. I tried their web page, which, predictably, told me how I could join, but not how I could unjoin.

CMC now sends me regular mailings telling me to contact my congressional representatives to "protect MA plans." They're especially interested in my representative, Charlie Rangel, to whom I've written twice explaining my scammed membership in CMC and my absolute opposition to MA plans. He's never responded, perhaps because he's too busy filing corrected tax returns, correcting congressional disclosure forms and moving campaign offices out of rent-controlled apartments.

I wonder how many members CMC has, who like me, only wanted to have one fewer dinner interruption each week.

Of course CMC's membership scam is illegal, but it is one more illustration of the seemingly unlimited time, energy and money the medical insurance industry is willing and able to spend to defeat any kind of reasonable and equitable healthcare reform.

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