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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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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How a Little Known Native-American Tribe Is Leading the Way to Better Dental Care in America

In a David versus Goliath showdown, a small Native American tribe in the Pacific Northwest is challenging one of the country’s most powerful and politically well-connected special interests in its mission to improve the oral health of its children.

The David in this fight is the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in Washington state’s Puget Sound area. The Goliath most likely will surprise you. It’s none other than organized dentistry, which over many years has spent millions of dollars on image …

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Debating ‘Medicare for All’ System Is Good for Nation’s Health, say Doctors

“Neither Clinton’s nor Sanders’ [plan] has much of a chance of being successful unless there are significant changes in the makeup of the Congress that would put Democrats in charge of both chambers again,” (said Wendell Potter).

Published by eNews Park Forest on January 22, 2016.

View the article here.

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The ‘Casino Effect’ on Your Health Insurance Rates

If you’re being hit with a huge rate hike on your individual health plan next year, your insurance carrier likely ‘placed bad bets’ last year.

Minnesotans who get health insurance through the individual market last week became the latest in the country to get unwelcome news: the cost of their coverage will likely go up significantly next year. According to the state’s Commerce Department, which regulates insurance in the North Star state, some customers of Blue Cross and Blue Shield

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Insurers Using Lobbying Muscle, Campaign Cash to Push Mergers

Firms pulling Washington’s power levers on Capitol Hill.

The CEOs of Aetna and Anthem, the two big insurers that have offered to pay more than $90 billion to buy two competitors, Humana and Cigna, will testify before a Senate panel Tuesday, in an effort to persuade lawmakers that the deals will be good for consumers. Physician and hospital trade groups and health care advocates are among those that disagree,

Appearing before a Senate Judiciary committee that oversees antitrust issues

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