Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cooking The Data On Health Care Reform - The "Unbiased" Lewin Group.

One of the numbers-crunching research firms constantly being touted by the Republicans in their battle to kill health care reform is the Lewin Group.

Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, calls them "the nonpartisan Lewin Group."

GOP members of the House Ways and Means Committee, refers to the Lewin Group as an "independent research firm."

According to GOP Senator Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah (the second-ranking Republican on the Finance Committee) the Lewin Group is "well known as one of the most nonpartisan groups in the country."

Odd.

The GOP fails to mention that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group... one of America's largest insurers.

The Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a UnitedHealth subsidiary that recently agreed to a $50 million settlement with the New York attorney general, and a $350 million settlement with the AMA, for cooking the books to help insurers shift medical expenses to consumers.

Ingenix supplied its parent company and other insurers with data that understated the "usual and customary" doctor fees that insurers use to determine how much they will reimburse consumers for out-of-network care.

No small wonder that the Lewin Group's research "backs up" the insurance industry's opposition to any plan containing a public option... and no small wonder that the Republicans conveniently forget this little detail.

You can read the whole Washington Post article about it here.

Please, Mr. President and Democratic members of Congress:

Call them on this bullshit.

h/t to Bob Cesca.