If Eve's heartbreaking diary hasn't gotten you upset enough tonight, this sickening piece of news about the mega-profit Aetna health insurance company may just push you into having a heart attack (which Aetna will promptly deny coverage for):
Health insurer Aetna Inc.’s fourth-quarter net income jumped 73 percent, as it continued to benefit from low use of health care and some key expenses fell.
The Hartford, Conn., insurer’s earnings and revenue topped Wall Street expectations due in part to slower-than-expected growth in health care use, a trend that has helped insurers routinely outperform the past several quarters. Many analysts expect this trend to continue into 2012.
Yes, you read that right, the poor, one of the poor, little bloodsucking insurance companies that is unable to afford printing basic information about what your policy will cover without passing the costs onto customers just had its profits rise by 73-freaking-percent.
This is sickening and I am so ashamed for the United States of America.
What pushes me to tears -- thinking about all the people like the young woman in Eve's diary -- is that this company, and its vulture shareholders, are making all that money because everyday Americans can no longer afford to pay the co-pays and deductibles necessary to visit their doctors.
Yes, in America, "health care" companies do best when they don't have to "do" any health care at all.
That is a sick, twisted and perverse system -- and we should be appalled that we are the only developed country on the face of the Earth that allows bloodsucking, pseudo-bankers (that's what insurers our -- they invest your premium dollars) to make a profit off of the financing of basic health care.
Of course, this 73% is not enough for Aetna, they still want more:
Zubretsky in the interview stressed how much Aetna has grown in the market since the middle of the last decade, plus the opportunity Aetna has to covert its own commercial customers to Medicare Advantage. "We've been focusing on organic opportunities," he said.
Only in America do we deny the right to health care to all our people, but then allow our government to pay immoral, unethical companies like Aetna to provide health care for small segments of our population -- the Medicare Advantage plans.
So, to summarize, the good news?
Aetna's CEO Mark Bertolini will be able to buy some more fine Italian wines for the mountainside hot tub outside his Connecticut mansion (no, I'm not making that up):
Mark Bertolini and his wife, Susan, just back from Italy in 2001, were sipping Vernaccia di San Gimignano wine in the hot tub of their spacious Avon Mountain home and reveling in their good fortune.
And, the bad news?
People will die -- the very policyholders bankrolling that (truly) sick man's lavish 1%-er lifestyle -- because they can't afford to pay their $5,000 deductible. Or they wonder if the chest pain is just from dinner, or if it's a pay-the-$200-Emergency Room-co-pay type of chest pain.
Shame on this country, and shame on Aetna for denying its policyholders health care, and for -- through its incessant lobbying and visits to the White House -- denying Americans the right to Medicare for all.
Let's occupy health care, and demand that Aetna be given its final denial -- removal from America's health care system.
Screw you, Aetna.
4:30 PM PT: Thanks for the community spotlight! Relentlessly exposing corporate greed at Aetna -- and the other insurers, too -- is one small step we must continue to take in the long just war for Medicare for all.