In Case You Forgot How Private Insurers Destroy The US Health Care System

Senate Majority Leader Reid provides example 1,352:

“You see, one of the largest private insurance companies in America made a lot of money last year — more than a billion dollars, in fact. Its chairman and CEO took home at least $100 million of that money himself.

“This health care company is going to make a healthy profit again this year. But its executives decided the profit they’re making isn’t quite big enough. So this multibillion-dollar company found a clever way to make sure next year’s bottom line is even bigger: it’s raising its rates.

“As you might expect, those higher premiums are going to be too expensive for many. How many? It could be as many as 650,000 people.

“That’s more than the entire populations of North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. It’s more than the entire populations of Baltimore and Boston and Denver and Seattle. How many people is this one company willing to drop? You could count every man, woman and child in Las Vegas and still have almost 100,000 people left over.

“But here’s the worst part: That shocking estimate comes directly from the president of the company himself. The means the company devised this strategy, crunched the numbers and saw how many American families it was going to hurt. Then the bosses shrugged their shoulders and decided to go ahead with it anyway.”

And it’s not the first time:

American Medical News, which first reported the story, noted that this is not the first time the insurance giant has cut the rolls in an effort to boost profit margins. “As chronicled in a 2004 article in Health Affairs by health economist James C. Robinson, MD, PhD, Aetna completely overhauled its business between 2000 and 2003, going from 21 million members in 1999 down to 13 million in 2003, but boosting its profit margin from about 4% to higher than 7%.

Just a little food for thought to chew on the next time you ask yourself if, the very popular, public option is a necessary part of health care reform.

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