This is Why Young Women Rock

You know when you have to go to the hospital that it isn’t going be cheap, but what you probably didn’t know that hospitals charge the highest prices to those who can least afford it.  That’s why it’s so great that a 20-year-old young woman is taking on hospitals in Montana for giving big price breaks to the insurance industry while sticking the uninsured with higher hospital bills.

Kudos to Jessica Gazelka, a Montana student, for stepping up to fight against the special discounts that hospitals provide for health insurers.  As the Helena IR reports, Ms. Gazelka says such arrangements “illegally fix prices and discriminate against the uninsured.”

The IR editorial board had the right idea when they wrote today that,

many of us view health care as a basic right, and it’s difficult to fit that basic right perfectly into the capitalist model that works so well in most of the rest of our economy.

The IR is also right that this case will be one to watch-especially for those who thought it was okay to stop asking about the problems with our health care system. Anyone who has been going around raving about how great everything is after so-called “reform” should take a page from Ms. Gazelka.

Regardless of the outcome of her case,  she’s already doing great work by reminding people that the system (still) isn’t working.


24 Comments on "This is Why Young Women Rock"

  1. This is why a zero-dollar, single-payer health care system in which the money is collected and disbursed by all of the people — all of the people being the government — is the only fair health care system, and the only one that can provide universal coverage.

    We could have had that kind of health care system — but thanks to Max Baucus, knaves like Joe Lieberman, the Blue Dog Dirtycrats in the House, a pusillanimous president named Barack Hussein Obama, and a lot of selfish ignoramuses with private health insurance who were suckered into believing that a single-payer system would kill grandma and let disease run wild, we got Obamacare, which is the polite name for Nixoncare, which is what Obamacare really is. No wonder voters tossed so many Democrats out of office in 2010.

    The only unfortunate thing about this young woman’s case is that it’s in civil court. The hospital honchos responsible for soaking the uninsured should be in criminal court, facing long years breaking rocks into smaller and small pieces.

    A tip of the hat to Jessica Gazelka for her wisdom and courage.

  2. You go girl! It must have taken some serious backbone to do this. Please keep us posted on your case! Very, very cool.

  3. Re Max

    Max Baucus, the senator from Montana, for example, the most important figure right now in this health care legislation that’s being written in the Senate. He’s resisted including a public insurance option in the reform bill, right?

    WENDELL POTTER: That’s right.

    BILL MOYERS: Why is the industry so powerful on both sides of the aisle?
    WENDELL POTTER: Well, money and relationships, ideology. The relationships– an insurance company can hire and does hire many different lobbying firms. And they hire firms that are predominantly Republican and predominantly Democrat. And they do this because they know they need to reach influential members of Congress like Max Baucus. So there are people who used to work for Max Baucus who are in lobbying firms or on the staff of companies like Cigna or the association itself.

    BILL MOYERS: Yeah, I just read the other day, in THE WASHINGTON POST, that Max Baucus’s staff met with a group of lobbyists. Two of them had been Baucus’s former chiefs of staff.

  4. Some credit should go to former state auditor morrison and the other lawyer for taking the case, not to take anything away from the young lady but it would seem they are probably the impetus behind it. Since we are on the subject I wonder what auditor hopeful General Robert E Skees’ take is on this? This is unwarranted interference in the free market by this lady and her lawyers right Derek? Bcbc and st peters should be able to collude and charge whatever monopoly price the market will bear right? Don’t go hiding on us again now little derek.

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | September 22, 2011 7:49 AM at 7:49 AM |

      God will show the general the way. You see, HIS jesus don’t NEED no stinkin’ health care! The general’s jesus is a REAL man! He simply prays his way to health! Jack, you don’t BELIEVE in the power of prayer? You infidel!

  5. Indeed, Kudos are also due to Anderson and Morrison, two great attorneys who also have no shortage of courage.

    I hope they go around and talk to community groups about their work. The problem is, all the advocacy groups seem to think that the job of convincing Americans that the system is changed is over, and that they don’t need to be organizing any more. I hope I’m wrong and that there are some out there that are doing more than submitting comments to government agencies on minute administrative matters. Sigh.

    • Sorry – no kudos from me for John Morrison. From what I know and the many skeletons STILL in his closet, he took the case for the same self-serving reasons he does most every thing he does…John Morrison and John Morrison ONLY. Making himself look good, grabbing as much attention as he can…and money. He is using the administrations push for CO-OPs and his new group to try to position himself as a spokesman on health care issues across the board nationally.

      Much like his pander and push to land a high spot in the DHHS when Obama was elected and his SAO term expired here. Fortunately the same old demons ruined it as the Obama admin couldn’t afford the liability of his secrets and scandals since the right was already witch-hunting him and every nominee he made from day one. If a simple background check by the FBI unearthed all of the dirt and alarmed the administration, you know a motivated journalist with a little effort could do the same.

      All the credit in the word to the young woman….and to the idea that this is dead wrong (and the need for a PO mentioned here). But Morrison is just the same old opportunist rake with low morals, a narcissist’s sense of responsibility/entitlement/duty and a guy who lives to hear/see his name repeated or in print…its just my opinion (but its also widely shared by those who know him too – if he had friends they’d say the same).

      • You could say the same about most any plaintiff’s lawyer who takes on a high profile case like this. He may be a douche and have ulterior motives for taking the case but he IS the one who is also bearing the financial burden (presumably), taking the risk of loss and doing the actual work to push for something that has the potential to greatly benefit the public. The fact he may be immoral, self-serving and likes to see his name in lights is kind of beside the point if the results end up benefitting to the public (in my opinion).

        • I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said. And its naive I know, but while I understand the end often justifies the means, if I have any choice at all in the matter (whatever matter) I prefer to have my means, or my politicians (or ex-ones in this case), or even those who are working for the supposed general well being… NOT be scumbags…that’s all.

          • All things equal I agree.

          • here’s a look at why the insurance industry runs wild…
            and how it worked in the crash…
            and WHO helps shaft you…
            maybe you voted for him.


            • My last dig at John Morrison (don’t hold me too it though): this insurance industry practice was going on while he was SA too and the very same insurance company were subject to his rules, interpretations of standing regulations and role as a State Executive charged with regulating the insurance industry. And it didn’t seem to really bother him then when it should have and he had the power to regulate it. It certainly wasn’t a secret that the uninsured get charged at differing retail rates than the insured. It only became a concern now when he can make a name & a few bucks off of it.

              The other side of the issue is that in 2004 a bunch of key staff members defected for reasons that have yet to see the light of day (and it wasn’t the Tacke affair either), and at least a couple (and one in particular) moved to the industry side and took a high level exec position within an insurance company that was routinely in front of the SAO for 4+ years of hearings, regulation and potential issues such as this…

              Now I can’t say this insurance agency top exec got specific favors of any sort or the company from her former boss Morrison, but just like the Baucus aides and half of Washington jumping from Congress to lucrative jobs to lobby their formers bosses on specific issues like HCR, it might not be illegal, but maybe it should be… and at the very least it sure looks and smells of impropriety.

            • Don’t Buy from


              Go to Powell’s Books instead

  6. That should have read, “that the system needs to be changed.” Apologies for the typo.

  7. I dont understand why insured patients get a price break or atleast the insurance companies do while others pay higher prices. This ought to be illegal in my opinion, if it is not illegal right now. Ive got family in the autobody business, and they all tell me that insurance is the biggest rip off in America. Because when you are paying your insurance all is great, but when you need it or if you have a claim, first they put points on your record and raise your premiem or your deductable, and they go to the bodyshops and they demand discounts, like on windshield replacement for example an insurance company can demand a 40% or more discount over the retail price on a windshield, yet the customer still pays fill price for the insurance. It a crock. And now they are doing it in health care. This is just another classic example of the system is broken.

    • along with the banksters…
      insurance companies have virtually no regs (you may have voted for some of the scummies that dereg-ed them)…
      they can do as they wish and they do and will.
      the role of government is to protect its citizenry…
      equally from predatory corpse-rats of der homeland…
      the donors get the protection.

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