PacifiCare's Kill Rate 40%, CIGNA's 33% According to Government Data

New data from California unearthed by the California Nurses Association reveals denial rates by the top health insurers in America. Talk about "death panels"? PacifiCare's rate of denying claims is 40%, CIGNA's is 33%.

Overall one in five requests for treatment is denied by California health insurers regulated by the California Department of Managed Health Care. That's a 20% denial rate.

President Obama said he will be addressing Congress next week about his vision for health care reform. How about a vision that holds health insurers legally accountable for delaying and denying necessary medical care?

How do we know the requests were legit? Just watch CIGNA whistle-blower Wendell Potter explain why a teenage transplant patient, Natalie Sarkysian, died before getting her request approved.

It's time for President Obama to put legal accountability for the health insurance death squads back into the debate, and Congress is the place to do it.

As my colleague Harvey Rosenfield, author of landmark insurance reform Prop 103, says, these odds make Vegas look good. Only in Vegas you are not betting with your life.