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.
After writing a couple weeks back that we need to keep an eye on profit-hungry health insurers to make sure they are not refusing to pay for medically necessary care, I got a flood of emails and tweets from people with stories to share.
Both the AAN and Chamber have spent millions on ads calling for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. While Aetna stands to gain financially from the law, it and other insurers have been critical of the potentially profit-threatening consumer protections and regulations in it.
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.
Politicians and the media were all too willing to repeat what CEOs of big for-profit insurance corporations were saying without analyzing their motives or taking into account the fact that the marketplaces will force real competition in the health insurance world.
The individual mandate was a Republican invention from a time when it was not yet heresy for a Republican politician to advocate providing affordable health insurance to every American without a government takeover of the industry.
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.
Games -- they're fun, enjoyable and rewarding. Whether they're designed and labeled as serious or casual, games take the pressure off of learning and giving, making them instrumental drivers of social impact.
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.
If Aetna does, in fact, hike premiums by more than 100 percent for some of its customers, as CEO Mark Bertolini suggested, no doubt part of that money will go to covering his shockingly lucrative paycheck.
One of the most ill-advised promises President Obama made during the health care reform debate was this: "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan." He should have known better.