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The Prospect Of Big Health Insurance Company Mergers Should Scare You

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.29.2016 | Politics
Wendell Potter

You probably haven't heard -- at least not lately -- that some of the biggest health insurers are moving full steam ahead to merge with each other, which means that tens of millions of us -- yes, millions -- will be affected next year. And not in a good way.

Aetna CEO Threatened Obamacare Pullout If Feds Opposed Humana Merger

The Huffington Post | Jonathan Cohn | Posted 08.18.2016 | Politics

The big health care news this week came from Aetna, which announced on Monday it was dramatically scaling back participation in the Affordable Care Ac...

It's Way Past Time We Stopped Deluding Ourselves About Private Health Insurers

Wendell Potter | Posted 08.03.2016 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Folks, we are guilty of magical thinking. We've fallen for insurers' deception and misdirection, hook, line and sinker. And many of us can't be persuaded that we are being duped. Meanwhile, the shareholders of the big for-profits are laughing all the way to the bank. Every single day.

Will States Kill The Big Insurance Mergers?

Alex Tolbert | Posted 07.12.2016 | Business
Alex Tolbert

Federal regulators are being watched closely as they decide how to respond to two big health insurance deals currently on the table in the United States.

Why Some Obamacare Insurers Are Making Money, But Many Are Losing Big

The Huffington Post | Jonathan Cohn | Posted 05.17.2016 | Politics

The U.S. health insurance industry has lost a few billion dollars selling policies on Affordable Care Act exchanges. It’s why many carriers are seek...

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 08.24.2016 | 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?

GOP Myth: Obamacare Is Driving Health Insurance Mergers

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.13.2016 | 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 07.06.2016 | 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.

INSURANCE MEGA-MERGER: Aetna To Buy Humana In $37 Billion Deal

Reuters | Greg Roumeliotis | Posted 07.02.2016 | Business

July 3 (Reuters) - Health insurer Aetna Inc said it would buy smaller rival Humana Inc for about $37 billion in cash and stock, in the largest ever ...

Here's What Happens When Wall Street Runs Hospitals

Wendell Potter | Posted 06.15.2016 | 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 05.04.2016 | 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.

Insurers Hire a Liberal Congresswoman to Lead Their Newest Phony Front Group

Wendell Potter | Posted 06.29.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

The health insurance industry took advantage of Washington's infamous revolving door last week when it named former Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, perceived by many to be a liberal Democrat, as the face of its latest K Street-operated front group.

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.

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.

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.

Look Mom! I'm Insured! 10 Observations on Obamacare

Kimberly Krautter | Posted 05.31.2014 | Politics
Kimberly Krautter

Because of my income, I also wanted to compare Obamacare to the open market. Having read a lot of teeth-gnashing by people who felt cheated on both sides of the equation, I thought it was the responsible thing to do.

Don't Be Fooled by Latest Medicare Scare Campaign From an Insurance Front Group

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.29.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Ads supposedly sponsored by the Coalition for Medicare Choices started appearing last week warning that seniors will face higher costs, fewer benefits and a loss of provider choice if Congress and the administration don't take action.

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.

Blue Cross Blue Shield "Bronze Plan" Faces Springfield Fight

David Ormsby | Posted 01.23.2014 | Chicago
David Ormsby

The Blues' and their "Bronze Plan" are in for a fight. While media coverage of the Illinois legislature's fall veto session has been dominated by p...

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.

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.