Yes, drop dead. We could care less about you getting the coverage you need when you need it -- our only responsibility is generating as much wealth for our shareholders as possible. We ain't in the health care business. Well, we say we are, but in reality we're nothing more than pseudo-investment banks earning interest off of your inflated premium payments and, then, sometimes, paying for a tylenol or two when you get sick.
The big-profit, blood-sucking, greedy schmucks at Aetna, CIGNA, WellPoint, UnitedHealthcare, and Huamana are preparing an epic lobbying push to water down Affordable Care Act provisions that might hit their bottom line just a tiny, little bit.
Top executives from UnitedHealth Group Inc. and WellPoint Inc. are meeting almost monthly with their counterparts from Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. and Humana Inc. in an informal lobbying alliance aimed at blunting parts of the health-care law, say people with knowledge of the sessions.
The arrangement began about six months ago, growing out of unrest over decisions by America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, the Washington-based lobbyist that also serves hundreds of small plans and nonprofit insurers, said the people who requested anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly. The effort started with meetings between the companies’ Washington lobbyists, and now includes at least three committees that get together weekly, the people said.
Yup, the PR wizards at AHIP weren't doing a good enough job defending the profits of really, really, really big insurance -- so, they are doing as Wendell Potter says they will do in Deadly Spin, hiring the smooth operators at APCO Worldwide to mount a new campaign to confuse and lie to the American public.
The insurers called in public relations firms, including Washington-based APCO Worldwide, and Weber Shandwick, a unit of Interpublic Group of Cos. Inc. in New York, to solicit proposals for campaigns. The companies haven’t decided whether to move ahead, said two people with knowledge of those meetings.
Apparently, they're also concerned about anti-trust matters and are hiring a law firm to look into defending their government-sponsored monopolies as well.
The group has also hired the law firm Alston & Bird LLP to advise them on antitrust matters, according to two of the people familiar with the arrangement. Barbara Bryant, a spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Alston, said in a voicemail that the firm wouldn’t comment on clients.
Here's what we should look forward to:
1.) The big-profit insurers saying the medical-loss ratios are too hard to meet because they can't average them over 310 million people, as compared to the state-by-state rule in ACA.
2.) The essential benefits package rules, which will make sure everyone in America gets the medically necessary care that they need to stay alive, are too restrictive and hurt consumer choice and innovation in benefit design.
3.) Fill in the blank here with any other aspect of the law that might hit the shareholders of Aetna or CIGNA in the pocket.
As Wendell Potter states in a recent analysis:
The court challenges and repeal efforts are, in reality, a useful smokescreen for the big insurers, whose real agenda is to gut the law while preserving the mandate. Expect a big lobbying and PR campaign — financed by our insurance premiums — to persuade us that the new regulations and consumer protections will make those premiums skyrocket.
The story much of the press missed was the revelation that the CEOs and lobbyists for the five biggest for-profits — UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Aetna, CIGNA and Humana — have been meeting frequently to plot their attack on the law
SO, ARE YOU ROYALLY PISSED YET?! Here's what gets me:
1.) Because of ERISA laws, big-profit insurers can't be sued for denying coverage of claims.
2.) Because of ERISA laws, big-profit insurers can't be forced out of business by states that want to create single-payer schemes.
3.) Because of anti-trust exemptions, big-profit insurers are free to monopolize markets. Alabama's Blue Cross & Blue Shield controls 93 percent of the state's health insurance market!
4.) Because of Medicaid, big-profit insurers don't have to finance care for the poor and sick.
5.) Because of Medicare, big-profit insurers don't have to finance care for the old and really sick, or the disabled, or those with truly expensive problems (like end-stage kidney disease, which is uniquely financed by Medicare).
6.) Because of government-financed high-risk pools, insurers -- right now -- don't have to take those with expensive pre-existing conditions.
7.) Because of their whining, they don't have to work harder to compete with a public option.
Who and what do these whining, petulant big-profit bastards get?!
Well, they get a nice little boutique, for-profit market carved out for them by our government that means they only have to serve the NOT poor, the NOT old, and the NOT very sick. Talk about a sweetheart deal! It is not hyperbole at all when progressives claim that the ACA primarily serves to subsidize big-profit, private insurance companies in this country into perpetuity.
And, yet, assholes like Angela Braly of WellPoint and Stephen Hemsley of UnitedHealthcare have the nerve to lobby against the meager consumer protections in the ACA?!
You know what the big-profit insurers are: whining, spoiled, over-privileged brats. And we need Medicare for all to kick their asses to the curb.
You've been warned: expect more deception from these crooks, and expect it soon -- all financed with your premium dollars.