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Healthcare 'Oligopoly Wave' Continues As Anthem Gobbles Cigna


#1

Healthcare 'Oligopoly Wave' Continues As Anthem Gobbles Cigna

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

The health insurance giant Anthem announced Friday that it is buying its behemoth rival Cigna for $54.2 billion, launching the largest such merger the country has ever seen and reducing the number of major U.S. insurers to a paltry three.

Analysts and human rights campaigners warn that the move is poised to further slash access to health care and hike prices across the country, illustrating the problems with the for-profit model in terms of delivering vital services.


#2

As the US moves toward a corporate healthcare insurance monopoly, wouldn't it make more sense for a government run single payer system or at least a public option. Something other than the crazy price gouging private health insurance system we have now?


#5

i hear ya, but "crazy price gouging private health insurance system" seems to be the whole point. They make gazillions and give a little of it to their very own reps in DC. DC makes sure that their staff writes new legislation. They get more gazillions, we die. Rinse and repeat.


#6

Though people might hate to hear this, but the Affordable Care Act monopolized the insurance industry. Meaning there is no reason to compete when it is unlawful to be without, like me. It literally is illegal not to have insurance, therefore, after being an honorably discharged vet with no access to the VA because there is too much paperwork that people die before they get help, I am illegally living in Merica. Funny how this works. By the way, you dont or cant afford insurance, it is a minimum of $500 fine FOR ALL CITIZENS AND INCREASES EVERY YEAR YOU DONT HAVE IT. I trully understand that people backed Obama because of his skin tone, but now we find out were our racsism has brought us to. Instead of fighting for human rights like healthcare, we have hired, out of racsist thinking to hire another Oligarch. But who can blame us, the constitution itself is a racsist document, such as terms of black and white. Two things: if there are white and black people, where are the browns? Oh yea, someone with real culture we dont call sub-human types such as color. Second, how is it every racsist comes from the supreme race? PS: One last thing, there is only one supreme race on this planet...the human race, ALL OTHERS ARE SUB HUMAN!


#7

The ACA is a 2000 page document because it is loaded with weasel clauses that assure that single payer will never see the light of day.

An added bonus for the merged insurance companies is that they, like the Wall Street banks, will be too-big-to-fail, enabling them to get multi-trillion dollar taxpayer funded bailouts in addition to ripping off policyholders.


#8

The "Affordable" in Affordable Care Act is only for those working and able to pay up.
From what I have heard, people have to be developmentally disabled or at death's door before they get approved for SSI (disability). Because the funding has been cut so much they can only provide for the most extreme cases.
My last employer did not provide insurance and I could not afford it on my $500 monthly base salary. I had a huge penalty to pay at tax time. I made too much to qualify for Medicaid.
I wish like heck they would pass Single Payer.
I guess if it's illegal not to have health insurance, then I'm "illegal" too. Had I the money to emigrate to Sweden or Finland, I might have the money to pay for health insurance here in the US. Heck, if I'd had that kind of money I would have left the US a LONG time ago!


#9

Insurance companys' missions are not "to make sense", their mission is to make money...lots of money.

Insurance is a financial product, not a healthcare product !


#12

If your brother is hungry feed him if he is naked clothe him if he is sick Rob him.


#13

Gee, I remember when monopoly was a board game, and you COULD "Go to Jail." What happened?


#14

With an individual mandate that will NEVER be repealed by any Congress, or struck down by any Supreme Court.


#15

By accident of birth (my American parents were in Canada for a year when my father was in grad school there) I hold Canadian citizenship as well as American. As much as the Harper government is moving Canada closer to the US, I still look at my Canadian passport as a "get-out-of-jail-free" card.


#16

So much for the Obama apologists that claim that Obamacare is a step toward Single Payer instead of yet another bad decision.

These corporate mergers are a step toward higher corporate profits and premiums for clients. Similarly, airline mergers brought us higher fares and countless additional fees. We can look forward to pay toilets and waiting room rental fees in clinics and hospitals if the airlines are a model.

I used to think that politician pimps didn't pay attention to history. But now I think that they do and use what they learn to allow corporations higher profits so they will contribute more.


#17

You can't have a public option. As long as the corporate healthcare companies exist, they will do whatever they can to undermine the public option. It's been tried in numerous countries and has always failed. It's all or nothing.
The good news is now that there are only three companies left, it will be much easier to nationalize them when the time comes.
The problem still exists in the 'battle for the minds' of the public as many Americans still have a blind allegiance to the "capitlaist" model due to extensive propaganda and ingrained ideas that "socialims is bad". If Bernie Sanders is elected President, my guess is that he would still be unsuccessful in stamping out organized crime (current healthcare providers) despite the support from the majority of Americans. Moneyed interests will continue to demonize anyone who stands for healthcare reform via the MSM and Congress is still a tool for those same interests.


#19

"Go to jail" is only for the little guys.
The people who own this country have all the "Get out of jail free" cards. And they have no problem using them.


#20

Oh well, look on the bright side. When the time comes to convert to public single-payer, there will be only one company that needs to be expropriated.


#21

Many of us fought for single payer to get the greedy insurance middle-man out of the equation but were betrayed by Prez "change we can believe-in" - turns out that mantra was total BS. Massive give-aways to insurance companies, big-pharma and for profit health care were all gifted billions in locked-in profits for the foreseeable future in the ACA and Americans will pay and pay - good lookin-out Mr Prez! We need to get "for-profit" greed out of our health care system, along with deadly over-prescribed drugs, unnecessary procedures, and $500 band-aids!
Hear the one about the cancer drug that costs (hidden of course by the health-insurance scam where over-priced and deadly drugs are pushed by Dr. Profits Above All-Else and paid-for by insurance holders) $100,000 a year and only extends life (high-quality for sure) by 4 months?
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/06/health/06avastin.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health-july-dec12-medicine_09-24/


#22

Funny, that's exactly what I was thinking. This is a time for deep education and jujitsu training.


#25

Tell me again about how the competition of capitalism keeps prices down.


#26

My favorite line used by the corporate media is "This merger will bring prices down."


#27

We are being let by some of the most evil sociopaths who have ever existed.