Posts Tagged ‘health care insurers’

Contrary To Obama Democrats’ Demagogic Lies About Private Insurerer Profits

October 28, 2009

Do you want to have one-sixth of the economy – and literally life and death decisions – to be taken over based on lies and demagoguery?  If not, you’d better start calling your elected officials and demanding that Democrats finally start dealing with facts rather than demagogic lies.

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making “immoral” and “obscene” returns while “the bodies pile up.”

But in pillorying insurers over profits, the critics are on shaky ground. Ledgers tell a different reality.

Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That’s anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.

Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans.

Insurers are an expedient target for leaders who want a government-run plan in the marketplace. Such a public option would force private insurers to trim profits and restrain premiums to compete, the argument goes. This would “keep insurance companies honest,” says President Barack Obama.

The debate is loaded with intimations that insurers are less than straight, when they are not flatly accused of malfeasance.

The insurers may not have helped their case by commissioning a report that looked primarily at the elements of health care legislation that might drive consumer costs up while ignoring elements aimed at bringing costs down. Few in the debate seem interested in a true balance sheet.

A look at some claims, and the numbers:

THE CLAIMS:

_“I’m very pleased that (Democratic leaders) will be talking, too, about the immoral profits being made by the insurance industry and how those profits have increased in the Bush years.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who also welcomed the attention being drawn to insurers’ “obscene profits.”

_“Keeping the status quo may be what the insurance industry wants. Their premiums have more than doubled in the last decade and their profits have skyrocketed.” Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, member of the Democratic leadership.

_”Health insurance companies are willing to let the bodies pile up as long as their profits are safe.” A MoveOn.org ad.

THE NUMBERS:

Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th on the Fortune 500 list of top industries. As is typical, other health sectors did much better — drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10.

The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent.

HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That’s a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers.

The star among the health insurance companies did, however, nose out Jack in the Box restaurants, which only achieved a 4 percent margin.

UnitedHealth Group, reporting third quarter results last week, saw fortunes improve. It managed a 5 percent profit margin on an 8 percent growth in revenue.

Van Hollen is right that premiums have more than doubled in a decade, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found a 131 percent increase.

But were the Bush years golden ones for health insurers?

Not judging by profit margins, profit growth or returns to shareholders. The industry’s overall profits grew only 8.8 percent from 2003 to 2008, and its margins year to year, from 2005 forward, never cracked 8 percent.

The latest annual profit margins of a selection of products, services and industries: Tupperware Brands, 7.5 percent; Yahoo, 5.9 percent; Hershey, 6.1 percent; Clorox, 8.7 percent; Molson Coors Brewing, 8.1 percent; construction and farm machinery, 5 percent; Yum Brands (think KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), 8.5 percent.

Half of Americans are actually covered by not-for-profit insurers.

A pro-liberal, pro-government universal health care proponent has the following:

But this is not “change.” Nonprofit organizations have always had an important role in the financing and delivery of health care services in the United States. Nonprofit health care organizations are part of the U.S. economy’s “third sector,” the other two sectors are government and for-profit businesses. In the early 1900s the first health care prepayment/insurance plan was founded as a nonprofit organization—Blue Cross—by a nonprofit hospital in Texas. Today, nearly 50 percent of people with private health insurance coverage are enrolled in nonprofit health plans.

Unfortunately, the strong and persistent presence of private nonprofit health insurance companies has not prevented any of the structural problems leading to our current health care crisis.

So the Democrats are deceitfully and demagogically claiming that insurance companies are the villains due to their “excessive” and “immoral” profits when in fact they DON’T have such profits – and HALF of them are NON-PROFITS – and they are offering a “solution” to a problem which isn’t even part of the problem to begin with.

I’m sorry to have to point out that what the Democrats are doing is right out of Adolf Hitler’s and Joseph Goebbels’ playbook, but it is.  They are telling lies about innocent companies.  They are deceitfully trying to create villains using propaganda and demagoguery so that they can then impose their “final solution” onto one-sixth of the national economy.

The clearest one sentence explanation of the result of the Democrats’ health care agenda comes from the mouth of Obama economic adviser Robert Reich:

“… So we’re going to let you die.”

The so-called “crazy claims” about death panels turn out to be all too real.

Democrats claim that you can keep your private health insurance if you want to.  It’s a lie.  And they know it’s a lie.

Their real goal is to put health care under total government control, so that they have the power to reward their allies and punish their opponents.  They are using their current legislation as a backdoor to universal, socialized, government-controlled health care.  And again, when they say that isn’t true, their own words reveal their lies.

Right now, Democrats are trying to take over life and death decisions.  And they are the documented liars.  Trust them at your peril.

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