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Friday, February 12, 2010

Wait just one sec; I've got to interrupt Newt's fancy schmancy song and dance with this bit of reporting hot off the presses (see Nadja Popovich's piece on NPR.org or http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/02/insurers_post_big_profits_cut.html).

According to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, over the last five years the big five health insurance companies' profits have soared to 56 per cent since 2008. That's UnitedHealth Group, Wellpoint, Aetna, Humana, and Cigna. (Aetna was the only one of the five to not post an increase.)

How'd they do that? I mean, especially with the recession and all. Well, according to Avram Goldstein (head of Health Care for America Now, and advocacy group), all they had to do was raise their rates and increase the cost burden for the little guy AND drop 2.7 million sick people who were Oh such a drain on the corporate coffers. So higher premiums, higher copays, made for a nice little "cha-ching".

Now the company CEOs will tell you that the 12 billion dollars in profits during last year alone (remember...a recession year)amount to a mere drop in the sea. A mere penny on the dollar. But as Goldstein makes mention, that penny, if added up over ten years, amounts to $250 billion dollars that America could have saved itself. Not to mention that if we did not have to pay the duplicative administration costs for all these plans (ten thousand prescription plans in the U.S. and counting)...well, we're starting to see this as real money now aren't we?

One thing I can't figure out. How the heck could Aetna lose money when this is a rigged system? They must be real bozos...or nice guys. We all know nice guys finish last in the insurance biz.

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