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Health Insurance Mega-Mergers Attract Powerful Enemy

The Huffington Post | Jeffrey Young | Posted 11.11.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The nation's leading physician organizations sent a letter on Wednesday to federal antitrust enforcers asking them to block mergers betw...

Health Insurance Mergers Make Executives Richer, Policyholders Poorer

Wendell Potter | Posted 08.24.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

If regulators approve the recently announced mega-deals in which Aetna, Inc. would buy Humana Inc. and Anthem Inc. would buy Cigna Corp., will consumers benefit? Or will the winners be limited primarily to the executives and shareholders of the companies involved?

MEGA-MERGER: Anthem To Buy Cigna For $54 Billion

AP | Jade Walker | Posted 07.24.2015 | Business

  NEW YORK (AP) — Anthem is buying rival Cigna for $48 billion in a deal that would create the nation's largest health insurer by...

GOP Myth: Obamacare Is Driving Health Insurance Mergers

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.13.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

When the CEOs of Aetna and Humana announced a few days ago that they had agreed to a deal in which Aetna will pay $37 billion for Louisville-based Humana, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky pointed the finger of blame straight at Obamacare.

Coming Health Insurer Mergers Will Costs Consumers -- and Jobs

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.06.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Among the losers -- in addition to the people enrolled in the insurers' health plans -- will be many of the employees of the acquired companies, and taxpayers in the cities that come out on the short end of the stick when the combined companies decide where the corporate headquarters will be.

Cigna Rejects Anthem Takeover Bid

AP | BRANDON BAILEY | Posted 06.21.2015 | Business

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Health insurer Cigna Corp. has rejected a $47 billion offer to be acquired by its larger rival, Anthem Inc., saying the terms o...

Here's What Happens When Wall Street Runs Hospitals

Wendell Potter | Posted 06.15.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

If you think costs would come down if hospitals were all owned and operated by big for-profit corporations like Hospital Corporation of America, you might want to take a look at a study published last week by the journal Health Affairs.

Why Health Insurers May Be Destined to Follow Blockbuster Into Irrelevance

Wendell Potter | Posted 05.04.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Remember Blockbuster? In its heyday -- which wasn't so long ago -- Blockbuster had 60,000 employees and 9,000 locations. For most Americans, for a minute anyway, it was the place to rent a movie.

Here's Proof That Obamacare Was Anything but a Government Takeover

Wendell Potter | Posted 06.20.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Anyone who still thinks the Affordable Care Act was a "government takeover of health care" should consider this headline from the news pages of last Thursday's Investor's Business Daily -- a Wall Street publication whose editorial writers have rarely missed an opportunity to bash the healthcare-reform law.

Health Insurers' Stock Soars as They Dump Small Business Customers

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.28.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Among those who apparently have not yet benefited much at all, at least so far, are owners of small businesses who would like to keep offering coverage to their employees but can no longer afford it. They can't afford it because insurers keep jacking their rates up so high every year that more and more of them are dropping employee health benefits altogether.

Obamacare, the Game, Part II: We're on the Road to Health Care

Brian Ross | Posted 02.14.2015 | Politics
Brian Ross

I share with you my story because it is emblematic of the level of complexity of the bloated private insurance-based ACA that is both inefficient and costly. It is a system whose "bottom line" focuses on corporate profits and executive compensation, not patient care, cost control, and improved outcomes.

Health Insurers (and Their Shareholders) Win Midterm Election!

Wendell Potter | Posted 01.10.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Insurers know the president won't allow the law to be repealed or even altered substantially, which will be good for future profits, and they also know they can count on the Republicans to push through legislation to get rid of the health plan tax and let them sell low-value policies again.

Other States Should Follow California's Lead in Providing Health Plan Ratings

Wendell Potter | Posted 12.21.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Regardless of where you live, you should check out those rankings before selecting your insurance carrier for 2015. You'll find that, just as in California, the nonprofits lead the pack and the for-profits are eating their dust.

Big Insurance Companies Won't Be Big Insurance Companies Much Longer. Here's Why

Wendell Potter | Posted 11.22.2014 | Business
Wendell Potter

What Boeing is doing represents a seismic shift in health care financing and delivery that potentially will have more far-reaching effects than Obamacare, primarily because it is coming from the private sector, not the government.

"Do-Nothing" Congress Getting Ready to "Do-Something" for Big Insurance

D. Taylor | Posted 11.19.2014 | Politics
D. Taylor

There are problems with Obamacare that need to be fixed. But, Congress won't do anything along those lines -- unless major insurance companies flex their muscle.

Dire Predictions About Doctor Shortage Post-Obamacare Haven't Panned Out

Wendell Potter | Posted 10.12.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

It's true that the number of doctors per capita in the U.S. likely will continue to decrease, especially in rural areas. But even though an estimated 13 million Americans have become newly insured since the first of this year, the predictions of the gloom-and-doomers have not panned out.

Insurers Are Fleecing Us Out of Billions While Congress Looks the Other Way

Wendell Potter | Posted 08.16.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

A year-long investigation by the Center for Public Integrity has revealed that health insurers may have fleeced taxpayers out of $70 billion in just five years.

Skyrocketing Health Insurer CEOs' Paychecks Are "Crazy," Says Executive Comp Expert

Wendell Potter | Posted 08.09.2014 | Business
Wendell Potter

Almost all of the publicly traded health insurers reported big increases in revenue and profits last year. The big winners have been the top executives of those companies, led by Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, the nation's third largest health insurer.

The Real Reasons Insurers Are Canceling Policies

Wendell Potter | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

If you relied on the Washington media for your news and information about health care, you'd think that insurance companies would never have considered sending policy discontinuation notices to their policyholders until forced to do so by Obamacare.

Sebelius Show Trial Highlighted Lawmakers in the Pockets of Insurance Companies

Wendell Potter | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

The truth these politicians want to obscure is that Obamacare is protecting their constituents from buying coverage that provides little to no shield against financial ruin. And that protection is something the insurance industry wants to get rid of.

The Real Reasons Why Obamacare Exchanges Aren't Working Yet

Wendell Potter | Posted 12.21.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

What happened -- or didn't happen -- to make it the federal exchange so unworkable, at least for now? Here are four possible reasons for the current mess

Tomorrow Is D-Day for Health Insurers: The Beginning of Disintermediation

Wendell Potter | Posted 11.30.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

I've often said that the Affordable Care Act is the end of the beginning of reform. Starting tomorrow, October 1, 2014, that law will signify the beginning of the end of the health insurance industry as we know it.

And The Most Secretive Company Is...

24/7 Wall St. | Alexander E.M. Hess, Douglas A. McIntyre | Posted 08.10.2013 | Business

From 24/7 Wall St.: While many investors may think corporate communication is unclear, some companies are far more candid than others. In fact, Accord...

What One Washington Could Learn From the Other About Reducing Health Care Spending

Wendell Potter | Posted 10.06.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Health policy experts have long contended that one of the key reasons the Medicare program will eventually run out of money is because of the outsized influence lobbyists for health special interests have in Washington.

A New Health Insurance World Is on the Way

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.28.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

It is just a matter of time, no more than a few years, before we will be bidding farewell to the U.S. health insurance industry as we have grown to know it.