Jun 23, 2009

Health Care Insurance Companies Scared of Losing Massive Profits to Public Option

According to the Associated Press, Health Insurance companies sent a letter today to the Senate saying that a pubic option for health insurance would cripple their profit-driven business model and hamstring employer-provided health insurance.

This is just another example of the scare tactics that opponents of health care reform are selling, and the American people still aren't buying.

And the health insurance lobby has a reason to be scared. New York Times/CBS Poll that came out this week found that most Americans

said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector.


These are companies that have imposed average premium increases of more than 120% over the past decade, according to Health Care for American Now!

The basic disagreement comes down to this:

Americans think that the government could do a better job than private health insurance companies and therefore want a public option.

Private Health Insurers know that the government could do a better job than private health insurance companies and therefore do not want a public option.

The private health insurers have a really big interest in keeping the system the way it is, in spite of it being broken. Why? Because

Profits at 10 of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies rose 428 percent from 2000 to 2007. In 2007 alone, the chief executive officers at these companies collected combined total compensation of $118.6 million-an average of $11.9 million each.


Whose interests should our elected officials keep in mind?

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