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October 26, 2009

Health Insurance Companies Are Racking Up HUGE Weak Profits. Meanwhile Super Awesom Government Run Medicare Is A Fraud Magnet

When politicians and activists need a villain, facts aren't at the top of the list of things are concerned about. So it really shouldn't come as a surprise that health insurance companies aren't exactly the profit machines liberals have made them out to be.

According to this AP Factcheck story, health insurance companies had a 2.2% profit margin on average which puts them in 35th place on Fortune's top 500 industries. By comparison, railroads return a 12.6% profit margin. Somehow Free Rail Shipping for Everyone! hasn't become a political hot button.

In other health care news...Medicare, which is supposed to be the shining example of how the government can run health care better than anyone is ripped off of about $60 BILLION a year in fraud.

How can that be? There's a simple explanation according to this 60 Minutes interview with Medicare Director Kim Brandt.

Well, it really does come down to the size and scope of the Medicare program, and the resources that are dedicated to oversight and anti-fraud work. One of our biggest challenges has been that we have a program that pays out over a billion claims a year, over $430 billion, and our oversight budget has been extremely limited.

Oh, it's too big now so obviously the way to get costs down is to add tens of millions of more people to the system. What could possibly go wrong?

We may get to find out sooner than later as the Senate Democrats have cobbled together their two health care bills into a single Frankenstein's monster single bill. It's being sent out for CBO scoring and will be unveiled later this week.

Thanks to PA who has the health insurance profit story in the headlines.

BTW- What's up with the AP and 60 Minutes doing these kinds of stories on the eve of the health care showdown in Congress?

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posted by DrewM. at 11:40 AM

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