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FTCR In the News -- Recent Articles

USA TODAY - Jul 07, 2005   
UnitedHealth to buy PacifiCare in deal worth $8.1 Billion
FTCR, the consumer group that led the fight in California over WellPoint, has launched an attack on the UnitedHealth Group and PacifiCare merger, and said that health insurers claim mergers provide better and more cost-effective care, but history shows ju... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Jul 07, 2005   
UnitedHealth plans to acquire PacifiCare;
$8.1 billion deal will create insurer with 26 million members
The consumer advocacy group FTCR disagreed with the merger and said that consumers will have fewer choices, and costs will go up.... more

The New York Times - Jul 07, 2005   
UnitedHealth to Buy PacifiCare in Push Into Medicare
A patient advocacy group that fought the WellPoint-Anthem merger last year on the grounds that the deal would raise costs and reduce choices for patients said it would call on regulators to ensure that patients continue to have access to current doctors.... more

Sacramento Bee - Jul 07, 2005   
Merger of health insurers planned;
UnitedHealth Group is set to purchase PacifiCare in an $8.1 billion deal.
Creating the nation\'s second-largest health insurer \"will result in less choice for patients, lower payments for doctors and hospitals, and more waste in the health care system,\" said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights.... more

Associated Press - Jul 06, 2005   
UnitedHealth makes offer for PacifiCare in huge health care deal
"HMO goliaths like WellPoint and Aetna and a merged UnitedHealth and PacifiCare are so big they don't have to compete, and threaten patient care," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which has been critical of HMOs.... more

Stockton Record - Jul 06, 2005   
Blue Cross fined for $12 million in overcharges
"A $150,000 fine on a company that had a $300 million profit increase is barely a slap on the wrist and won't deter Blue Cross from making the same mistake again," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica.... more

Ventura County Star - Jul 06, 2005   
Blue Cross billing errors result in fine of $150,000;
Nearly 45,000 charged multiple times
Jerry Flanagan with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said his office had received hundreds of calls about the charges. Flanagan said he was disappointed with the fine imposed.... more

San Diego Union Tribune - Jul 06, 2005   
State fines Blue Cross $150,000;
Error caused multiple charges for premiums
Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for FTCR, said the fine is a slap on the wrist for Blue Cross. He added that the state's slow response was a dangerous shift in priorities at what is supposed to be the nation's premier HMO watchdog.... more

The San Francisco Chronicle - Jul 02, 2005   
Worries over successor mix with words of praise
"O'Connor offered fairness and equity," said Jamie Court of FTCR in Santa Monica. "When there was a case of a company overreaching, she was a swing vote to send the message that fairness was necessary in business."... more

San Francisco Chronicle - Jul 02, 2005   
Hospital price lists trickle in;
About 60% meet state's deadline for service charges
A consumer group said the compliance rate is unacceptable. Jerry Flanagan with FTCR said the sticker prices charged by hospitals, which are generally paid only by people without health insurance, are too high and bear little relation to underlying costs.... more

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