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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you think the idea of privatizing Medicare has gone away, that the health insurance industry has thrown in the towel on one of its biggest goals, there was fresh evidence last week that you would be wrong.
Now you know why more than 50 million of us are uninsured. It is not because most of those people are being irresponsible. Most of them either can't afford to buy coverage or can't buy it at any price.
When insurers behave this way, they are demonstrating that they care more about their bottom lines than their policyholders. Which makes it all the more imperative for California voters to sign those petitions and vote for the ballot initiative this fall.
Shame on Humana, and Geisinger Health Systems and yes, the American Lung Association, and any organization that contorts ethics and morality to believe its employees' daily habits are fair game for its scrutiny.