The Easy, Permanent Way to Fix Obamacare (ACA) Immediately Nobody is Talking About
What do UnitedHealthCare, Anthem, Aetna, Cigna and Humana have in common (besides being the top 5 healthcare insurance companies in the United States)?
- The American people ALLOW them to provide services within the boundaries of the United States. They serve AT THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, just like any other business in the United States.
- The American people make the rules – if they do not like the rules, they are free to GET INTO ANOTHER TYPE OF BUSINESS or move overseas.
- The American people allow them to perform their services in our market because it is (supposed to be) beneficial to our society and our country.
The points above have become completely lost in the healthcare conversation. Listening to Paul Ryan tell reporters what the CEO of Aetna told him was best for the market only reinforces what we already know. The Republican politicians are financed by Healthcare Lobbyists and the current bill in congress is a NAKED example of whose interests they are serving (and it is not yours). The American Health Care Act of 2017 gives huge tax breaks to the top 2% earners, takes away subsidies to those most in need and, most importantly, would allow insurance companies to flood the market with GARBAGE HEALTHCARE POLICIES, currently illegal under the ACA under the cover of ‘access’. Yes, you will have access to an awful, expensive, restrictive healthcare policy – you will have that freedom. In short, the insurance companies will be allowed to screw you over again just like they used to.
It is important to understand why the insurance companies are pulling out of the Marketplace. They are making less of a margin of profits on the people in the Marketplace (because, um, some of them are sick), SO it makes their quarterly numbers looks worse in front of there stockholders. Do not believe the BS they try to peddle about them losing money in the Marketplace.
The Top 5 Health Insurance Providers in the United States
Before defining the easy, permanent steps to fix the ACA, we need a bit of perspective. The US Healthcare Insurance industry is like no other in the world. It is EXTREMELY PROFITABLE. It is this profitable for one main reason – the industry lives in a bubble of special rules and laws (opposite of free market) that allows it legally to extract every penny possible out of the American people, hospitals, clinics, and everyone else. This is one reason they hate the ACA. The ACA clamped down on this, giving people protections (like pre-existing conditions).
In 2014, the top 5 insurers had $345,000,000,000 in sales. Billions, not millions, billions. (Source: Forbes) In 2016, UnitedHealthCare reported over $2,000,000,000 in profits. Again, billions, not millions, billions. Here is how they rank:
- UnitedHealthCare $113B (market value), $130.5B (net sales 2014)
- Anthem $41B (market value), $74B (net sales 2014)
- Aetna $38B (market value), $38.8B (net sales 2014)
- Cigna $38.8B (market value), $35B (net sales 2014)
- Humana $27.2B (market value), $48.5B (net sales 2014)
The Easy, Permanent Way to Fix Obamacare
So, how do we fix the ACA? BRING DOWN THE HAMMER ON THE INSURANCE COMPANIES. IF THEY WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR MARKET, THEY NEED TO PLAY BY THE RULES BEST FOR AMERICA, NOT THEIR STOCKHOLDERS. It is our market, we make the rules, not Paul Ryan who accepts huge donations from the healthcare industry.
- They ALL must provide insurance policies in the Marketplace, in every state. IF NOT, GET INTO A DIFFERENT BUSINESS.
- 85% of all sales revenue must go into providing care for patients. IF NOT, GET INTO DIFFERENT BUSINESS.
- They must publish the average salary of their C-Suite compensation in $ per hour for the year in their policies and on their website front page. IF NOT, GET INTO DIFFERENT BUSINESS.
- There should be CAPS on the amount charged for insurance, and all co-pays and deductibles should be eliminated. IF NOT, GET INTO DIFFERENT BUSINESS.
Now, yes, they will be less profitable, but, frankly WHO CARES? No more ‘Cult of the Corporation’ mentality in America please. Corporations do not care about you. This is not because they are evil, it is because for-profits exist to make money for their stockholders – end of story. Unless you are stockholder and have a direct negative impact from lower profits (approximately .00000001% of the population I’d guess), it should not matter to you in the least. And if the quality of services they provides suffers (supposedly) from this, use a different company. In a relatively free market, there is always another company ready to take your money. Competition is good like that. If there is a penny of profit to be made, there will be a company ready to provide that service.
And FYI – this isn’t socialism. In fact it is the opposite. Socialism would be proposing a system similar to what they have in the UK (state-owned and operated healthcare). The suggestions above are in line with the healthcare systems in Scandinavia. Private providers, regulated to benefit their citizens, and if companies do not want to provide services, they do not have to. In the United States, let us not forget we have the upper hand. We have Medicare which can be expanded. Takes 90% of the leverage of the insurers away – sorry UnitedHealthCare 🙁
What can you do?
STEP ONE: Firstly, SHARE THIS POST on TWITTER, FACEBOOK, EVERYWHERE. We have to get the word out and remind people – CORPORATIONS OPERATE IN OUR MARKET AT THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE – WE MAKE THE RULES.
STEP TWO: Forward this information to your representative. Start local with state representatives and then expand to your congressmen and senators. Let them know that it is THEIR JOB to represent YOUR OPINIONS. Not their donors.
STEP THREE: Finally, do some digging – find the RATS. Find out which representatives take large donations from the Healthcare Industry. Let everyone you know!!