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Why is there no corporate death penalty?

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Via Kevin, this:

The state of California has fined Blue Cross $1 million for illegally cancelling policies:

The investigation found that Blue Cross used computer programs and a dedicated department to systematically cancel the policies of pregnant women and the chronically ill regardless of whether they intentionally lied on their applications to cover up pre-existing medical conditions, a standard required by state law for canceling individual policies. Regulators examined 90 randomly selected cases of policy cancellations and found violations in each one.

A million dollar fine is a cost of doing business.

But as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, murder was done here, and Blue Cross is guilty:

By actuarial laws, some percentage of those pregnant women, and some percentage of those chronically ill are going to die because Blue Cross "violations" meant they were denied care.

Blue Cross murdered those people just as surely as the Totenkopfverbände murdered millions in the camps.

So why don't we try Blue Cross, and then condemn them to death by revoking their corporate charter and seizing their assets?

NOTE Asset seizure presumably works for small fish like dealers, so why not big fish like corporations?

UPDATE Welcome to the members of Dibgy's rabid fan base (among whom we number ourselves, except, we're already here). Tell the bartender the guy under the stairs sent you.

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I think about the people who designed and implemented the program. How did they describe to themselves what they were doing? I'm sure they rationalized it as something like:

"They are cheating! It's not OUR responsibility to give them coverage. They are stealing from the other Blue Cross members. They can always go to the emergency room. I'm not denying them health care, they still have a safety net."

Because the actions of these actual people are what still counts.

Remember the Enron blackouts? They were caused by several companies in addition to Enron,(El Paso Gas for example). We are insanely LUCKY that nobody died during the blackouts. Cars running traffic lights that were suddenly dark. Elevators stopped during the trip to the emergency room, etc.

Now Enron DID pay a price, but what about the ones that got away with it? And what about the people within those other companies that happily played along causing millions to be with out power?

Removing power from millions to make money. Now THAT'S power!

darksun93's picture
Submitted by darksun93 on

The Corporate Death Penalty Act could provide that every member of the Board of Directors and executives of a corporation who knew, or should have known about the likelihood of their product or services to cause death, will be subject to the death penalty if their product or service results in the death of an individual or group of individuals.

Tim Hermach thinks that Fox TV would be an appropriate venue for televising corporate executions and says, "No more payoffs, no more get offs. You, corporate executives and Board members are the few. We, the people that you kill, are the many. Those left standing, will hold corporate killers accountable for your lethal actions."

- - - -
don't buy World of Warcraft Gold, make'em.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

This is a capitalist society. Blue Cross is merely following the capitalist model. How is it possibly a crime for them to take $840 per month in insurance fees from self-insured families (the rate I was quoted when I naively tried to purchase insurance for my family) and then refuse to pay out on a claim? If you liberal-commies force Blue Cross to pay a single claim, then their profit margin will be affected and the shareholders could lose a couple pennies per share.

I mean honestly, insurance companies are NOT in the business of paying for health care, they are in the business of increasing shareholders profits: this is the ONLY reason for capitalist model. If you have some problem with capitalism then move to China, comrade. If you can't pay your health care bill on your own, then simply don't seek treatment. If you think that an insurance company has any obligation to pay for your health care bills after you pay their premiums for years (even after they promise that they will), then you must be a terrorist! Have you forgotten 9/11?!

Insurance contracts are very clear, they collect money from their clients and then pass all that money to their executives and stock holders. Their contract makes it very clear that they are under NO obligation at all to return a cent of that money to the people that paid them.

This is capiltaism, folks. I am astonished that anyone could possibly complain about the best health care system in the entire world!

Why just the other day, my wife needed an injection of Rhogam, a generic drug used in RH- blood types. The fee was a mere $163 for this one injection of a long-out-of-patent drug. Since health insurance deductibles are routinely $5000, we had to pay for this out of our own pocket.

This is absolute proof that our health care is the best in the world; imagine how high our taxes would be if the poor and middle class had to cover the cost of my wife's injection through their taxes! And the profits of Rhogam manufacterers would be less than 300% and the hospital wouldn't be able to cover their huge beauracracy costs, too!

I think CA should give Blue Cross a medal and a trillion dollar no-bid contract with no accountability to reward them for boosting the profits of their shareholders! That's how Freedom Loving ©™ Republicans do things.

And to all you liberal-fascists out there that foolishly think that any one person's life is somehow more precious than a share-holder getting 3 cents more on their dividend payments, I say you've forgotten why we won the Cold-War in the first place - to rid the world of Compassion once and for all!

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

These are not, trust me, words I ever thought would come out of my mouth keyboard, but damn if you don't sum up the true meaning of the "Compassionate Conservative Doctrine" as applied to health care, right there.

Except that you forgot to mention that besides ERs there is a "safety net" of private charity, meaning that rather than expecting health care as a right, say when your spouse or child gets cancer, you can always hope you have enough friends who will hold fish fries and rummage sales and put coin cans by the cash register at local truck stops and similar fundraising events to pay off the medical bills you incur. Or a church whose members might kick in on your behalf in the name of tax deductions...er, I mean Jeebus.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

It's time to revisit the concept of corporate personhood and put it to death for once and for all.

After the Chiquita verdict, a fine but no penalty for the unnamed executives who decided to commit the crimes, I see that some "persons" are more equal than others.

This example of BCBS is yet another despicable example of corporate capitalism run amok, and killing people on its way.

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

If Blue Cross provided the actual product it claims to provide it would not be able to have its name on all these big buildings.

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Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

It is a corporation's duty to maximize profits. Basic fact of life.

If the executives decide that it is more cost effective to actively kill some of their income sources and pay a miniscule fine of $1M (roughly .0003% of net profits is nothing),then it's a no-brainer. Any sane executive alive would kill his own mother for such a deal.

Sure the company is killing off some of it's revenue stream, but the return on that investment is enourmous! It's common sense!

I think more corporate citizens should kill more non-corporate citizens if it'll help their quarterly postings. Since there is no actual punishment or retribution, other than losing a little pocket change ($1M fine), then what could possibly be the down side to killing US citizens?

Look at Monsanto, the Shining Beacon on the Hill. Since cross pollenation of GM and non-GM varieties is inevitable and since they don't want to have to spend money suing every farmer in the world that thinks it's OK to [gasp] save their seeds for next year (terrorists!), they have come up with a perfect solution. Kill all the bees.

Monsanto's BT Corn doesn't kill the bees directly, that'd be too obvious and possibly lead to some more missing pocket change. Monsanto's BT corn changes the digestive tracts of the bees so that they have no more resistance to their natural parasites. And since the bees will certainly have pollenated something before they died, Monsanto gets the added bonus of destroying the lives of small farmers anyway! Everybody wins!

Bee keepers all across America are losing millions of bees each year; California had to import beekeepers from other states to pollenate the food crop for the US. So Monsanto's plan is working! Pretty soon Monsanto will have killed off every last cross-pollenating bee in existence and will post record profits for that quarter.

Now you liberal fascists will no doubt point to some 'scientitian' that says that all life will do exctint in four years if there are no more bees to pollenate the plant life. Boo-hoo! But God told President Bush that Jesus is coming back real soon, so it's OK.

We should not interfere with Monsanto's plans to kill all life on the planet because it would interfere with their quartlerly earnings statements. And that would be terrorism.