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Bad Obamacare News Is Real. That Doesn't Mean Obamacare Is Dying.

The Huffington Post | Jonathan Cohn | Posted 11.20.2015 | Politics

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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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Using Familiar Playbook to Protect Profits in California

Wendell Potter | Posted 11.02.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

For the next two months, Californians will to be subjected to a barrage of TV, radio and online ads, which, ironically, they unknowingly will be paying for with their health insurance premiums.

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.

Health Insurers Using Playbook Again to Protect Profits at Expense of Consumers

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.12.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

About 35 states have given their insurance departments the legal power of prior approval of proposed health insurance rate changes. California is not among them, and advocates believe the state's residents are paying more for their health insurance coverage than necessary.

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.

Big Corporations Abandoning Conservative Group That Pushes Changes in State Laws

Wendell Potter | Posted 02.08.2014 | Politics
Wendell Potter

It's amazing how a little sunlight will change the behavior of some of the biggest names in corporate America -- sunlight here meaning greater transparency and accountability.

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.

Why No One Should Lose Sleep Because Big Insurers Are Taking a Pass on Exchanges

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.01.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Some critics of the reform law are suggesting that if the big companies aren't willing to sell policies on all the exchanges, Obamacare is somehow fatally flawed. But I think we'll all be just as well off if the big companies stay out of the individual and small group market.

A Cynical Search for Loopholes

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.28.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

There is an age-old tradition in this country: if you don't like a law and can't get rid of it, look for a loophole. That's what some companies that don't want to comply with an important Obamacare requirement have done, and it appears they've hit pay dirt.

Disintermediation: a big word that keeps health insurance execs up at night

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.23.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

For the first time in a long time, my former insurance colleagues and I agree on something: it's time for affordability. Health insurers' big PR and ...

New Scheme to Subvert Obamacare Would Hike Premiums for Many Consumers and Businesses

Wendell Potter | Posted 02.02.2013 | Politics
Wendell Potter

It's complicated -- so complicated that unless you are a reader of obscure insurance industry newsletters, you've probably never heard about this, even though it has the potential to cause the collapse of the exchanges and completely circumvent the intent of Congress.

How Insurers Are Cashing in on Medicare While Shunning Small Businesses and the Individual Market

Wendell Potter | Posted 12.29.2012 | Business
Wendell Potter

The big five health insurance companies have begun reporting their third quarter 2012 earnings and, so far, they are pleasing their shareholders with profits that are better than Wall Street expected.

Surprise! A Nice Little Gift From ObamaCare Directly to Millions of Us

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.22.2012 | Politics
Wendell Potter

One of the reform law's most important provisions -- the one that that insurance firms and Wall Street despise most -- is the one that sets the minimum allowable medical loss ratio, effective last year, at 80 percent for policies sold to individuals and small businesses.

Why GOP Governors Will Embrace ObamaCare's Medicaid Expansion -- After the Election

Wendell Potter | Posted 09.15.2012 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Don't pay any attention to the votes and rhetoric coming out of Washington. Health care reform can turn out to be very profitable indeed for some of the GOP's biggest benefactors -- the giant insurance companies.