By Michael Waddoups
Utah State Senator, District 6
The insurance industry made approximately $100 billion in profits this past year. A major study by the AMA, reported in the Dow Jones Newswire
Consolidation among health insurers is creating near-monopolies nationwide, with the most dominant players grabbing more market share by several percentage points per year.... The AMA study used a Department of Justice benchmark, called the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index, to gauge the level of market competition. A score above 1,000 shows "moderate" market concentration, while a score above 1,800 is considered "highly concentrated".
According to the study, 95% of the 294 markets under scrutiny were “highly concentrated,” with scores above 1,800. 67% scored above 3,000.
The Wall Street Journal
has recently reported on the CEO of United Healthcare, which is now under SEC investigation (and who enjoyed a compensation plan of over $1.6 BILLION over the last decade).
Here are two paragraphs from the investigative report:
Dr. McGuire's story shows how an elite group of companies is getting rich from the nation 's fraying healthcare system. Many of them aren't discovering drugs or treating patients. They're middlemen who process the paperwork, fill the pill bottles and otherwise connect the pieces of a $2 trillion industry.
The middlemen credit themselves with keeping the health system humming and restraining costs. They're bringing in robust profits-and their executives are among the country's most richly paid as doctors, patients, hospitals, and even drug makers are feeling a financial squeeze. Some 46 million Americans lack health insurance.
These special interest groups have big law firms, powerful lobbyists and seem to only care about profits.
Once again, living in America means you can take ownership of your society, community and living conditions. Are we willing to live with the system we have allowed to evolve? I believe it is time to insert some responsible supervision into the model.
Elected officials should be the voice for working families, small business and employers who are being hammered by escalating energy costs, runaway insurance premiums and double digit healthcare costs.
It is time to say that enough is enough.