Democrats & Liberals Archives

Why Health Insurers Support GOP

Big health insurance companies are going full blast supporting Republicans all over the country. Why? The new Affordable Care Act will provide them with a few more millions of customers. The money new patients will bring is OK with them. But all those regulations that help patients - they’d rather do without them. These powerful insurance companies don’t want to be deterred in screwing patients for greater profits.

The Los Angeles Times had a headline yesterday, "Health Lobby Spends Heavily on GOP." Here's an excerpt:

Since January, the nation's five largest insurers and the industry's Washington-based lobbying arm have given three times more money to Republican lawmakers and political action committees than to Democratic politicians and orgnaizations.

Why? The article answers:

But insurers are balking at the myriad new directives in the healthcare law.

Among other things, the law prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to sick children and canceling policies when customers become ill. The law bars insurers from placing lifetime caps on how much they will pay when their customers get sick.

Many consumers will also get new rights to appeal denied claims and win acess to preventive care without being asked for co-pays.

Yes, insurers will get new customers, but they will have to treat them better. You know, like you are supposed to treat sick people in pain. They shouldn't be looking for ways to drop coverage in order to boost the bottom line. The indea of the legislation is to improve the healthcare system.

But Big Insurers don't see it this way. Profits first, people second, is their motto. This is the motto of much of Big Business today. Big Insurers, like Big Business in general, prefers giving to Republicans over Democrats. Republicans and Big Business understand each other. Big Business pays for the election of Republicans and Republicans do their best legislatively and regulatorily for Big Business.

Of course, Big Insurance Business gives its money to the GOP. The GOP can be depended upon to try to repeal the healthcare bill. If it does, Big Insurance Business will do well. But how will YOU make out when you or your child gets sick?

Posted by Paul Siegel at October 6, 2010 5:28 PM
Comment #309879

Interesting where we were one year ago.;_ylu=X3oDMTEyYTA2M2NjBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNQRjb2xvA2FjMgR2dGlkA0g0NjZfOTA-/SIG=14m6t516p/EXP=1286508954/**http%3a//

Top three recipients of Insurance Industry campaign cash in the House and the Senate were all Democrats.Big Business bets it’s money on winners. They gave more to Democrats in the 2006 and 2008 election cycles. They see the Republicans as being the winners this time around.

More bad news on Obamacare. Now, even 25% of Democrats favor repeal.

Posted by: Skeptical Boomer at October 6, 2010 11:57 PM
Comment #309905

Skeptical Boomer said: “More bad news on Obamacare. Now, even 25% of Democrats favor repeal.”

Yeah, but, the reason is because it wasn’t liberal enough - i.e. Public Option omitted. Very different reason for Democratic polling on this topic, than the majority of Republicans, though many Republican voters were also for the Public Option. Public Option polled at 73% of all voters, at one point in the legislative debate cycle before passage.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 7, 2010 10:58 AM
Comment #309912

While I am, and have been, for the ‘public option’, and have known that without it we may not see the economic upturn that it would provide, I will admit that if both the extreme right and extreme left are against a bill, it is likely a good one.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 7, 2010 12:21 PM
Comment #309915

The big insurers are simply raising their rates astronomically to cover their additional expenses. Anthem-Blue Cross has raised my premiums 46 PERCENT in the past 18 months…so much that I can no longer afford it and will have to drop my health insurance. I hate to do it, but I have no choice. This is NOT an “improvement”. In the same way, in order to “make up for” any changes in the banking laws, the credit card companies are simply raising their interest rates to ridiculous levels. Again, bottom line is that it is NOT helping us consumers, it’s HURTING us.

Posted by: capnmike at October 7, 2010 12:57 PM
Comment #309916

BTW, y’all should see this,…it’s a hoot, and true besides

Posted by: capnmike at October 7, 2010 1:00 PM
Comment #309921


I’m assuming you are a top heavy conservative who thinks he believes in the free market system. If that is true, you are seeing it in play whith your example. When enough folks, like you, have to drop their coverage, insurance companies will no longer see black in the net column. Being smart and having all those bookkeepers on payroll, they will soon know they have to lower prices to stay in business. When they do lower prices, it will (hopefully Re[ublicans will not have SNAFUed) be under the new law, and we Americans will get better coverage at a lower rate, and they will not be able to use all those little sneaky ways to hurt policy owners.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 7, 2010 3:28 PM
Comment #309951

No, I am NOT a “conservative”…I do believe very strongly in the Free Market System, but only in the case of “elastic markets”, which health care definitely is not.

You state “When enough folks, like you, have to drop their coverage, insurance companies will no longer see black in the net column.”…that is not true…they will continue to raies the rates whenever they feel their profits are going down…fewer subscribers also means fewer claims. In the meantime, us people without insurance can just go somewhere and die? Thanks.
Actually I am in favor of a one-payer system, period, but the insurance companies, AMA, and all the other entranched special interests will never allow that to happen.

Posted by: capnmike at October 7, 2010 8:44 PM
Comment #309965

Health insurers support the GOP for the same reason companies tied to Rick Perry’s top campaign donors support Rick Perry, the Gov. of Texas. An investigative report in this week’s Dallas Morning News makes a case that Rick Perry funneled $16 million in taxpayer dollars to companies tied to his top campaign donors.

There is a difference between government officials passing legislation for the public good, which incidentally, and without forethought, benefits private sector companies. It is quite another when governing actions are directed specifically for the purpose of rewarding politician’s donors. It is a difference lost in the political rhetoric. And both Parties are guilty of these ethics and legal violations. But, hey, both parties are also the enforcers. So, don’t expect much in the way of justice being served the people and against these perpetrators, by mutual consent of the both party’s politicians.

Bill White, Rick Perry’s Democratic opponent for Texas Governor, is trying to make hay of the Dallas Morning News investigative report. Does anyone believe this would be an issue if the election were not weeks away?

The anti-incumbent vote is the only weapon the people have to fight this corrupt and destructive political system and governance.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 7, 2010 10:58 PM
Comment #309970

>The anti-incumbent vote is the only weapon the people have to fight this corrupt and destructive political system and governance.


There would have to be a strong movement to make this work…meaning a tight-knit organization with fund raising and campaigning…er…isn’t that one of the problems we have already?

Posted by: Marysdude at October 7, 2010 11:31 PM
Comment #309978

Marysdude, VOID is a tight-knit organization with fund raising and campaigning - So is the Tea Party, and Coffee Party, the Independent Parties, Libertarian and Green Parties, and a host of other anti-incumbent web sites which have cropped up since VOID was begun. Combined, these anti-incumbent and quasi-anti-incumbent organizations are reaching millions of voters, and their contacts are spreading the message and strategy to millions more.

The organization is only required to make increasing numbers of voters aware of the anti-incumbent option and benefits with the movement’s growth. All the voters have to do is vote for challengers instead of incumbents. VOID’s Vote Out Incumbents window, bumper, and yard signs now appear in 47 States, spreading the word and option. VOID’s fund raising is doubling to quadrupling with each passing election cycle, this is now our third. And there is no sign whatsoever of this growth slowing.

As long as dissatisfaction with the political system and governance grows, so will the anti-incumbent grass roots movement begun by VOID as a registered political action committee in 2006. They say imitation is the best form of flattery. VOID’s board of directors are feeling very flattered this election cycle.

I would be remiss in not attributing the idea for VOID to Jack Gargin of THRO, who asserted the concept to the national level back in the 1980’s (Throw the Hypocritical Rascals Out). I participated in his 1980’s THRO campaign, the experience and concept of which stayed with me until founding VOID in late 2005, to pick up the standard and cause, again, with the help and support of a few others from WB and elsewhere.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 8, 2010 2:14 AM
Comment #310005

To me, the democratic position on healthcare savings with the public option, and obamacare in general, is at odds with their entire position on business elsewhere in the economy. I will explain…

Currently, the health industry has a large burden of accepting and treating millions of people without health insurance or the ability to pay for services. In response to this, they have increased their rates on those of us that do have insurance, and can pay.

Your solution is to insure all those people who are currently burdening the system. To offset the exceptional cost of doing this, you claim that by doing so, the medical industry will not have the need to raise the money off of the rest of us with inflated rates and charges. Thus reducing costs per incident/illness, which should then reduce cost on insurance companies—who would then follow the same logic, and pass those savings on to the rest of us (the consumer). The balance, then, will be neutral. In essence, what you have claimed all along, “we are already paying for those without insurance.”

Makes sense. But only if you trust businesses to “do the right thing.” This will only work if you accept the Republican idea of trickle down economics. If not, what prevents the healthcare industry- a big business itself- from maintaining the inflated rates and simply raking in more money? Or, for that matter, the insurance companies? If you truly believe that these businesses will pass on their savings to the consumers (with reduced rates and charges) why can you not accept that reducing the tax burdens of all business will be passed on to the consumers and workers. Seems like a conflict when you rely on business integrity to claim the low costs of obamacare (and the public option), yet in the same breath you want to point out the illegitamacy of tax cuts based on the same premise.

On the other hand, if you want to hold tight to the belief that businesses are intrinsically greedy— too a point where they quit following basic principles of economics for pricing their goods/services, then the total cost of obamacare is flawed. Even the data on which the CBO completed its evaluation of obamacare is flawed. Everyone of the estimates ever produced for nationalized healtchcare is rediculously low. And, in fact, the cost of such a measure would be so incredibly exorbitant that no Americans (Democratic, Republican, or independant) would be willing to support it.

Posted by: inquisitive at October 8, 2010 11:44 AM
Comment #310008


You are right in part, and that is why the ‘public option’ was so important. Side benefits could have been felt almost at once. This way we will have to wait for the good effects and they will be watered down.

Posted by: Marysdude at October 8, 2010 12:12 PM
Comment #310011


Business is, in your word, ‘greedy’, or, profit oriented. However, where there is competition, pricing and profits are voluntarily reduced by business to 1) remain competitive and 2) maintain or increase market share, which through economies of scale can produce greater profit even as pricing is lowered. Competition is key to this working as theoretically expected.

ONLY where oligopolies and monopolies exist, will business fail to pass reduced costs on to consumers in the form of lower competitive pricing.

There is sufficient competition amongst Emergency Rooms in all our cities to insure competition passes lowered costs due to the absence of non-paying patients, on to their other paying patients. It won’t be 100%, but, substantial.

Second, ER costs for minor complaints which could just as easily be handled in a regular doctor’s office, are unbelievably higher than the same services provided in a doctor’s office. Hence, if everyone is insured, and visits doctors and clinics instead of Emergency Rooms for non-emergency services, the overall costs of health care will drop, even without the Public Option, but, not nearly as much in the long run.

Therefore, the current health care reform package will be cost neutral for the general public in the shorter run, and actually amount to some savings over the next decade and beyond. What it doesn’t address is the entire PROFIT amount in the equation of health care delivery for Medicare and private insurance rates for private insureds, in the long run, which the negotiation potential of single payer would have achieved with the Public Option. Not to mention the increase that would occur in non-profit specialty practices and clinic formation that would result from a single payer system, eliminating corporate profits from the health care system cost side.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 8, 2010 12:49 PM
Comment #310032

“Skeptical Boomer said: “More bad news on Obamacare. Now, even 25% of Democrats favor repeal.”

Mr. Remer wrote; “Yeah, but, the reason is because it wasn’t liberal enough - i.e. Public Option omitted.”

If one were to ask Mr. Remer, Is the NHS in Great Britian liberal enough for you”, my guess at the answer would be yes.

Let’s consider just what the NHS in GB looks like today in that country.

Britain spends more on the NHS than on any other line item — more than on pensions, social security, education, defense, transport, public safety, or interest on the debt. Under the previous Labour government, spending on the NHS tripled in just 12 years. It’s the great black hole in the center of Britain’s debt vortex. And yet the quality of care and efficiency of delivery are dismal compared with other European countries, and far inferior to the United States.


Posted by: Royal Flush at October 8, 2010 6:05 PM
Comment #310034

republicans war good health care bad why do republicans like to kill people?

Posted by: Jeff at October 8, 2010 6:56 PM
Comment #310039

Royal Flush,

Wake up yourself! The UKs per capita expenditure on health care is only approximately 41% of the per capita exenditure in the US ($3,000.00 in the UK vs. $7290.00 in the US). Also remember, the UK system covers everybody. If it is a black hole for the UK, it is far less a black hole than for the US.

You might also consider some recent comparisons of the US health care system vs. other industrialized nations before declaring any other system “far inferior to the United States.” One such report (Commonwealth Fund 2010) comparing seven industrialized nations on a variety of health system performance measures found the US dead last behind in order Netherlands, UK, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Canada.

It always surprises me that conservatives cannot apply a simple cost/benefit analysis to the health care issues. It would seem to me that if my competitor was producing a higher or equal quality product at a substantially lower cost that I would seriously consider changing my business model to incorporate some of my competitors methods.

Posted by: Rich at October 8, 2010 8:08 PM
Comment #310080

Rich writes; “If it is a black hole for the UK, it is far less a black hole than for the US.”

What kind of a crazy comment is that? The black hole referred to is…”Britain spends more on the NHS than on any other line item — more than on pensions, social security, education, defense, transport, public safety, or interest on the debt. Under the previous Labour government, spending on the NHS tripled in just 12 years.”

Agreed Rich that we don’t have as large a black hole…yet…as we have just begun the descent into this hellish, bottomless pit, nightmare that the Brits are already in and trying to climb out of.

As for your link, I found nowhere in it, or the associated links, any believable source named, other than for their own biased survey for the results. I could link to dozens of reputable sources that reveal just the opposite about the higher quality of care in the US.


Posted by: Royal Flush at October 9, 2010 1:12 PM
Comment #310082

republicans war good.. health care bad.. why do republicans like to kill people?

Posted by: Jeff at October 9, 2010 1:23 PM
Comment #310098

Royal Flush,

Of course the UK health care costs are a high percentage of its national governmental budget. All health care costs in the UK are funded via the national government. Consider if all health care expenditures in the US were booked on the federal budget. We spend more than twice as much per capita than the UK does.

Despite the fact that the majority of expenditures for health care costs are in the private sector, the US, according to data of the WHO (2007), spends a greater percentage of government revenue on health care than the UK (15.9% for the UK vs. 18.9% for the US). What do we get for that? Please note the second chart of data from the WHO (2007).

Posted by: Rich at October 9, 2010 7:49 PM
Comment #310101

Royal Flush,

The attached link with a chart from OECD data clearly illustrates the problem.

Posted by: Rich at October 9, 2010 8:05 PM
Comment #310387

Hilareous Jack Black video about misinformants:!

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Comment #348983

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