Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

The Health Insurers Have Already Won

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
 
Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:05 AM
Original message
The Health Insurers Have Already Won
The Health Insurers Have Already Won

How UnitedHealth and rival carriers, maneuvering behind the scenes in Washington, shaped health-care reform for their own benefit


Stevens directs industry leader UnitedHealth's strategy on Capitol Hill Stephen Voss

By Chad Terhune and Keith Epstein
August 17, 2009


As the health reform fight shifts this month from a vacationing Washington to congressional districts and local airwaves around the country, much more of the battle than most people realize is already over. The likely victors are insurance giants such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), and WellPoint (WLP). The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable. Health reform could come with a $1 trillion price tag over the next decade, and it may complicate matters for some large employers. But insurance CEOs ought to be smiling.

Executives from UnitedHealth certainly showed no signs of worry on the mid-July day that Senate Democrats proposed to help pay for reform with a new tax on the insurance industry. Instead, UnitedHealth parked a shiny 18-wheeler outfitted with high-tech medical gear near the Capitol and invited members of Congress aboard. Inside the mobile diagnostic center, which enables doctors to examine distant patients via satellite television, Representative Jim Matheson didn't disguise his wonderment. "Fascinating, fascinating," said the Democrat from Utah. "Amazing."

Impressing fiscally conservative Democrats like Matheson, a leader of the House of Representatives' Blue Dog Coalition, is at the heart of UnitedHealth's strategy. It boils down to ensuring that whatever overhaul Congress passes this year will help rather than hurt huge insurance companies.

...

The industry has already accomplished its main goal of at least curbing, and maybe blocking altogether, any new publicly administered insurance program that could grab market share from the corporations that dominate the business. UnitedHealth has distinguished itself by more deftly and aggressively feeding sophisticated pricing and actuarial data to information-starved congressional staff members. With its rivals, the carrier has also achieved a secondary aim of constraining the new benefits that will become available to tens of millions of people who are currently uninsured. That will make the new customers more lucrative to the industry.

...

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_33/b414...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
nightrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. yep. I saw that article also, and perhaps the Obama administration
is "recalibrating" its position.... see

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/us/08lobby.html?_r=1&...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yeah, by calling up the industry lobbyists and saying "how we doing, any suggestions?"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nightrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. LOL. good one. So it seems.... Obama and Congress ?ought to have the
power differential, not the corporations. But, we have it reversed, don't we?

This could be one of the shortcomings of Obama's seeming difficulty with actual conflict. Ya can't appease the corporations AND get to universality and cost-containment in healthcare. I think they are mutually exclusive. The leeches need to go.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. i never expected anything else. rearrangement of the deck chairs and a bunch of politicos
patting each other on the back.

and anybody with any kind of objectivity could see it coming a mile away.

the political capital from the 2008 totally pissed away. of course. because the dem party is wholly owned by corporate america.

anything like real 'change' in this country is never going to come from the democratic party. get used to it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. K&R nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Jul 30th 2014, 02:44 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC