The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

“Medical Reform” for Profit

Aug 17, 2009

From the media coverage, you would think the health insurance industry would be opposed to the proposed reforms. Why then are they promoting health care reform?

Business Week, cheerleading magazine for American business, ran an August article about health insurers like UnitedHealth Group, Aetna and Wellpoint, all of which are promoting health care reform. These health insurance companies are spending millions to lobby Congress. Yet these are the very companies you would think had billions to lose if the U.S. health care system were ever “reformed.”

Industry executives understood what it meant when Congress talked about a less-expensive public option, or savings from taxing the health insurers, or negotiating lower drug prices: it was just hot air, without anything concrete, without a single promise. So of course the industry is celebrating and, in the words of Business Week, it “prepares to profit from health reform.”

As their lobbyist Tim Kahn put it, “We are confident that the Senate Finance Committee will produce a bill we can fully endorse.”

That’s why Business Week called its article “Why Health Insurers are Winning.” They are winning, while the rest of us will be paying the bill.