AHIP Chief Ignores Protestors

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom

About 400 union activists gathered outside the Capitol Hilton in downtown D.C. this afternoon and called on AHIP CEO Karen Ignagni to take a break from the health insurance industry convention going on inside to meet with seven insurance company customers who say they’ve each lived through (some of them barely) a nightmare that started when they tried to get their insurer to pay their medical bills.

Ignagni didn’t show.

Health Care For America Now!, and organized labor-funded lobbying group, hosted the protest and brought the seven families to DC to meet with Igagni. Executive Director Richard Kirsch told the crowd outside the bad news.

“They’re all scared of you,” he said of insurance company executives. “They don’t want to face us.”The protest was the culmination of a full-court-press effort by HCFAN to draw attention to the AHIP meeting taking place in the Hilton four blocks from the White House. This morning, the group bought full-page ads in several D.C. newspapers calling on Igagni to meet with seven insurance customers.

As the protest broke up, Kirsch told TPMDC he wasn’t surprised Ignagni didn’t make it and said he doubted the AHIP members inside the hotel were paid much attention to the protesters gathered outside.

“They’re deaf and dumb in there,” he said. “They always have been. They’ve made it clear over and over that they’re completely opposed to reform.”