Corporate Greed in the Health Insurance Industry

Welcome members! It is hard to believe we are more than a quarter of the way into our yearly collection of money for the mega-rich.  The good news is that we are on pace to collect another record bounty for 1%.

According to the Star Tribune, the top five executives at health partners made 117 million dollars in compensation 2018.  This is a company that is supposed to work for us managing health care costs.

The number one thing One Union talks about is our stolen prosperity over the last 30 years and how to get it back.  Our, “Stolen Prosperity,” graph below clearly shows when our wages flatlined and where our profits went.Stolen Prosperity Graph of Wage Growth

The interesting thing is you can look at any industry, like managed healthcare and you will see that the graphs are remarkably similar.  The second graph shows health care costs exploding for average Americans.  Deductibles have risen nearly 250% in ten years.  During the last 30 years, CEO pay has risen from about 20x to 300x the workers’ wages.  A 250% increase in cost for you and 300x more pay for the few.

Health care costs graph

The craziest part is the stated reason for using private companies such as United Health Group to manage health care is to LOWER the costs.  But of course, this isn’t the real reason.  The money must come from somewhere if you are going to pay 5 executives 117 million dollars a year.  So, it comes from skyrocketing health and prescription costs paid by all of us.

Why would we pay over a hundred million dollars to executives to manage health care only to have our costs increase 250%?   If executives are going to get paid more than 100 million annually, shouldn’t we expect them to lower our health costs each year?

Lastly, when we look at the many acquisitions completed by United Health since 1994, we see a similar trend to other industries – mega companies and monopolization.  It is the monopolization of business into the hands of the few where compensation is not based on performance but on how well the exploitation (profit) went that year.

When all of you have had enough, let us know and we can start doing something about it.  In the meantime, get back to work.  We have a lot more pails of gold to stack up at the altar of the few and you know what happens when we miss our mark.



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Timeline of United Health Group Acquisitions

The following timeline of acquisitions is from the Wikipedia page for United Health Group.

1994 – Ramsey-HMO, a Florida insurer.

I1995 – The MetraHealth Companies Inc. for $1.65 billion.

1996 – HealthWise of America, which operated HMOs in Arkansas, Maryland, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

1998 –  HealthPartners of Arizona.

2001 – EverCare, a UnitedHealth Group subsidiary merged with LifeMark Health Plans

2002 – GeoAccess and Medicaid insurance company AmeriChoice.

2003 – Mid Atlantic Medical Services and Golden Rule Financial, a provider of health savings accounts.

2004 – Touchpoint Health Plan and Oxford Health Plans.

2005 – $9.2 billion purchase of PacifiCare Health Systems and John Deere Health Care.

2007 – Sierra Health Services Inc. for $2.6 billion.

2009 – Health Net’s Northeast licensed subsidiaries for up to $570 million in payments spread out over two years.

2012 –  XLHealth

2012 – UnitedHealth Group and Amil Participações, one of the biggest Brazilian health insurance companies, completed the first phase of their merger.

2014 –Optum Health ( A United Health Group Company) acquired the health services unit of Alere for $600 million cash.

2015 – CatamaranRx will be acquired by OptumRx (A UnitedHealth Group company).

2017 –  Rally Health

2017 – DaVita Medical Group for $4.9 billion and Banmédica for $2.8 billion.


1 Comment

My Lib · May 16, 2019 at 10:30 pm

What’s more, each was paid more than $5 million in Medicare reimbursements, said Steven Posnack, director of the federal policy division in the office of the national coordinator for health IT, in an April 12 Visualize Regulations blog .

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