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One Reason Why Your Health Insurance Premiums Are So High - Wall Street

BDBlue's picture

Insurance premiums for small businesses are being driven higher not just because of an increase in healthcare costs, but also because Wall Street wants higher returns:

The higher premiums at least partly reflect the inexorable rise of medical costs, which is forcing Medicare to raise premiums, too. Health insurance bills are also rising for big employers, but because they have more negotiating clout, their increases are generally not as steep.

Higher medical costs aside, some experts say they think the insurance industry, under pressure from Wall Street, is raising premiums to get ahead of any legislative changes that might reduce their profits.

Now, you might think with health insurance reform pending in Congress, the industry would be concerned about screwing its customers. But you'd be wrong because Washington doesn't run this country, Wall Street does:

“There’s no one out there who hasn’t had to do a mea culpa to Wall Street,” said Sheryl Skolnick, an analyst for Pali Capital who follows the companies. While the industry is particularly vulnerable now in Washington, she said, “it seems like they’re more afraid of Wall Street.”

Well, who can blame them, really? Anyone who is paying attention is afraid of Wall Street because they are heartless, merciless motherfuckers who don't care if the rest of us live or die so long as they can manipulate this quarter's profits to get their bonuses.

The fact that this action will mean that some small businesses, already in the midst of a deep recession if not depression, will be pushed closer to bankruptcy and others will cut health insurance for their employees, putting even more people's lives at risk is, of course, irrelevant to the blood suckers on Wall Street. They've already killed lots of businesses and people in this country, what's a few more just so long as they're returns keep rising.

NOTE - Another thing about those larger companies, they not only have more negotiating clout, but they're more likely to be listed on the stock exchange or be a member of the S&P or the DJI and so Wall Street cares about their earnings to. A fortunate coincidence, huh?

NOTE 2 - And note the apologies to Wall Street over the insurance industry's crappy earnings, despite the fact Americans pay twice what every one else in the world pays for healthcare. It's those crappy earnings, from a failed business model that prices itself out of customers, that have given us the bailout that is mandates without any meaningful cost controls and at best a weak public option that's not actually open to the public. What better way to help insurers and Wall Street? From Versailles' perspective it's a win-win!

(via Naked Capitalism)

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DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

During the Clinton administration, even after the collapse of health care reform, you saw reduced inflation in health insurance and medical bills, it was known as the Hillary Effect, health insurers, hospitals, and everyone else was worried that if they raised costs too high Hillary would be back. Clearly they have no such fear with Obama.