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Over one year after Congress and the White House started this Byzantine and often contorted CLOSED-FORUM legislative process, I couldn’t help but think we’ve heard the same TV-inspired preening and posturing emanating out of the empty “talking points” ad nauseum in another past hearing…just like at the White House’s “bipartisan” Health Summit yesterday at the Blair House in Washington, D.C. Here, you have those “guardians of fiscal conservatism” talking about reining in the costs of private healthcare and the public Medicare/Medicaid government programs, but not really addressing the pervasive core systemic/structural flaws and cancer to affordable and accessible healthcare — the very antitrust-exempt “For-Profit/Big Health Insurance” carriers LOOTING and GOUGING public and private coffers for years.
It is also quite interesting that Washington politicians — from both sides of the aisle in our largely dysfunctional, failing “two-party” system — talk of accruing potential savings from newly proposed budget outlays of over $1 trillion over the next 10 years and Congressional Budget Office estimates of potential reductions in deficit spending from a variety of draft Healthcare Reform bills in Congress. It all seems like the equivalent of reformed alcoholics at an AA Meeting being approached to open a mega-liquor store by distillers (Big Healthcare) who are running up to stuff their car trunks with cases of hooch. You know, those same, wonderfully publicly-minded Big Health Insurance contributors that our “elected reps” share beds with in exploiting the contracts they have with Medicare/Medicaid and handful of other federal government agencies to begin with.
Their talk at this summit is simply as stale and empty as the deregulatory actions of the last quarter-century, devoid of anything addressing the massively corrosive impact of For-Profit healthcare tearing away at the socioeconomic fabric and health of America – and only perpetuates the century-long, steadily growing criminalization and victimization of healthcare in this country.
From what you can see of the accompanying statistical chart for the “Big Six” of For-Profit/Big Health Insurance up-and-down the far left-hand column, United Health Group leads the profiteering and looting of Medicare and Seniors by taking an estimated $28.1 billion from the Parts A, B and D of Medicare in reimbursements and “add-on,” out-of-pocket costs passed onto Seniors, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
So, if you look at the fourth right-hand column tinted in orange, you will see that United Health Group’s leading $16,470 in per-capita average reimbursements represents a whopping 1,424% increase over the “Medicare minimum base-rate” premiums of $1,156 per year (or $96.40 per month) deducted from Seniors’ Medicare accounts, which we all contribute to during our working careers through Social Security.
Please keep in mind here, none of these public-traded health insurance corporations are obligated legally to separately report and breakout the amount of revenues they take out of the Medicare program. So, we based their per-capita revenue estimates from Bloomberg News, Wall Street Journal and other miscellaneous published reports – and divided it by the number of seniors enrolled in the Big Health Insurance carriers’ various Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans offered. Only in rare instances, like earnings conference calls with Wall Street investment analysts, the chief executives of Big Healthcare will occasionally agree to discuss exact enrollment figures in the Medicare program due to the cyclical nature of the business and economy, along with rare, pesky healthcare reform-driven reviews and saber-rattling investigations from Washington regulators looking to occasionally rein in the abuses and excesses within Medicare’s contractor arrangements with Big Health Insurance.
In fact, Wellpoint, the owner of 14