Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

OK, so now you know about the protest at the CIGNA CEO's mansion!

OK, so now you know about the protest at the CIGNA CEO's mansion!

 

Columbia Journalism Review raises a good question of why the Philadelphia papers didn't cover this:

No one packed heat, no one screamed at a member of Congress, no one called anybody a Nazi, no fistfights broke out. So—no story.

All that happened was that on Thursday, Oct. 1, a moving van pulled up in front of the largest house in a Main Line neighborhood just outside Philadelphia—the home of H. Edward Hanway, CEO of CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies—and eight demonstrators from Health Care for America Now (HCAN) got out. One was Stacie Ritter, a former CIGNA customer whose twin girls were afflicted with cancer at the age of four. Their treatment left permanent damage. CIGNA refused to pay for the human growth hormones that her doctor prescribed to help her daughters grow properly. When her husband was briefly unemployed, they were bankrupted.

No one was home at Hanway’s mansion. Ritter left a note to explain that the van symbolized a request: “Can I stay in your carriage house until we get back on our feet financially?”

Like I said, it's a good question although it's fair to note that as the healthcare debate has heated up there's been lots of staged pro and con events -- the papers have done a pretty fair and balanced job of not covering most of them, on both sides. The Daily News hasn't had the staffing power to have a fulltime healthcare writer for a while now, even though the sector is the region's biggest source of private jobs. Wendell Potter -- the Philadelphia-based ex-CIGNA exec who's become a top whistle-blower -- did get one pretty good write-up in the Inquirer and a fair number of mentions in Philly.com, but nothing in the DN. One way or the other, local readers probably deserve better -- but at least maybe you learned a little more by reading this.

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Will Bunch
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