Repeal Obamacare? GOP Should Be Careful What They Wish For

Now that they’ll control the White House and Congress, Republicans still haven’t got a clue what to do about health care.
Felue Chang (right), who obtained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, receives a checkup from Dr. Peria Del Pino-White at the South Broward Community Health Services clinic on April 15, 2014 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Felue Chang (right), who obtained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, receives a checkup from Dr. Peria Del Pino-White at the South Broward Community Health Services clinic on April 15, 2014 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

For years, Republicans have been condemning Obamacare and vowing to repeal and replace it. Now that they’ll soon be …

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Cry me a river, Aetna.

Retreating carriers whine that exchanges bruised their bottom lines; meanwhile, their profits are off the charts, thanks to … Obamacare.

So, thanks to Obama – and more specifically, Obamacare – Aetna and its competitors are rolling in the federal dough. But, because of the self-serving desire on the part of the for-profit companies' executives to exceed Wall Street's expectations every three months, they're not willing to tolerate for another New York minute an Obamacare risk pool that, in their opinion, is crowded with too many sick people. People they never wanted to insure in the first place.

You might be thinking, based on what insurance company CEOs have been saying over the past few weeks, that carriers are awash in red ink because of Obamacare and would surely go bust if they had to keep paying the medical claims of their Obamacare customers for even one more year. You might even be shedding a tear or two …

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The Insurance Empire Strikes Back

What the insurers are implying here is that if the Obamacare marketplace doesn't "stabilize" to their satisfaction (even though the companies will still be making money hand over fist) they'll threaten to take their marbles and go home.

Read between the lines: Industry’s message is clear that obstruction of carrier mergers will mean a grim future for Obamacare’s exchanges.

If federal officials fall for Anthem’s and Aetna’s latest PR ploy to win approval of their plans to buy the companies I used to work for, I’ll offer to sell President Obama a bridge or two.

During a call with Wall Street financial analysts last week – as Anthem announced Second Quarter 2016 profits – Anthem’s CEO,

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It’s Way Past Time For Us To Stop Deluding Ourselves About Private Health Insurers

I didn’t think it was possible for me to get more disgusted with the industry I used to be a cheerleader for, but I was wrong.

Health insurers—more specifically, the big for-profit health insurers that want to get even bigger through two pending mega-mergers (Anthem wants to buy Cigna and Aetna wants to buy Humana)—once again are demonstrating that nothing—absolutely nothing—is more important to them than making their rich shareholders even richer.

If that means making it more difficult for

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Organized Dentistry Loses Big In Another State As Propaganda Stops Working

 

In health care public policy fights, it’s very hard for an underdog to overcome a massively funded lobbying and propaganda campaign.

Today, though, the underdog is celebrating a huge win. One so big, in fact, that it most certainly will embolden groups in other states to take on the same adversary—organized dentistry.

The victory was made official this morning when Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill that will greatly expand access to dental care in the Green Mountain

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The Lobbyist Who Made You Pay More at the Drugstore

Here’s how the pharmaceutical industry keeps America’s drug prices among the highest in the world.

The following is excerpted from Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman’s new book, Nation On the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It. You can also listen to an interview with the authors.

Bill and Faith Wildrick have never heard of Billy Tauzin, but they’re paying dearly for Tauzin’s tireless work for the pharmaceuticbal industry. So are Faith’s

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Potter and Penniman: “The System Is Rigged Against Regular People”

In their new book, Nation on the Take, Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman portray a government and politics polluted by big corporate dollars. But the authors also offer solutions.

Few are as qualified to tackle the massive topic of money in politics as Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman. Their new book, Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy (read an excerpt), is a comprehensive and important examination of

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Is America a ‘Nation on the Take’?

America stands at a historic crossroads. One path leads to a renewal of our Democratic ideal, the other to government by the few, the rich and the powerful. So argue Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman in their new book, “Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts our Democracy and What We Can do About It” (Bloomsbury).

Potter will be familiar to Center for Public Integrity readers as a former health insurance executive turned critic, Center columnist and

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On Super Tuesday, a Battle Plan to Save Democracy

Nick Penniman Executive Director, Issue One and Wendell Potter Author of Nation on the Take, to be published March 1, 2016

Tens of millions of political dollars have been injected into the 13 states holding their primaries this Super Tuesday as the presidential candidates angle for the 1,639 delegates that are up for grabs. Because of such massive outlays, political spending in 2016 will likely reach $10 billion, blowing the roof off all previous records. Yet, amidst the blinding …

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