Insurers Looking to Buy Up All The Competition

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This from a WSJ article and AMA email:

UnitedHealth and Anthem, the two largest US health insurers by revenue, are looking to purchase smaller rivals to trim costs and keep profits expanding due to an increase in enrollment under the Affordable Care Act. UnitedHealth, which has a market value of over $100 billion, has already made a preliminary takeover approach to Aetna Inc., which has a market value of $42 billion. Meanwhile, Anthem and Cigna Corp. have been engaged in acquisition discussions for months, although Cigna has rebuffed Anthem’s most recent advances.

Wow.  How is this even possible?  We need more competition and not less!  These companies, who fully supported the ACA, are now getting to cash in and we are all left holding the bag.  What a back room deal they must have received. Most of us are paying more in taxes both for the ACA as well as for higher insurance premiums.  And the beauty is that we have no choice because this is the law!  Now the insurers are trying to Borg up and become one evil giant.  Why is no one stopping them?  Are you kidding me?

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “Insurers Looking to Buy Up All The Competition

  1. June 18, 2015 at 9:15 am

    With apologies to the underwear gnomes:

    1. Monopolize heath insurance & ACA signups.

    2. Risk Corridors. (taxpayer bailout)

    3. Profit.

  2. Perry
    June 17, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Time for that move to Tahiti.

  3. Steve O'
    June 17, 2015 at 9:05 am

    The next step – the part where the mask falls off – requires a crisis of some sort. A crisis which can be measured in the death of voters in a visible, legislatively-obvious way. An “Ebola.” Some natural disaster, or maybe an epidemic of some sort – or maybe the system that has been actively dissected while the wheels are still going around, will cough up a vital sprocket and wheeze to a halt. “Everything that is unsustainable, stops.” said Laurence J. Peter
    Then come the Emergency Laws. I wish to copyright the phrase “Healthcare IS a National Security Matter!” You will hear this as the system fails. The People will demand healthcare. The leadership will be quick and decisive. Perpetrators will be identified and beaten – of course, not the real ones but scapegoats.
    It helps to have a new President in times of crisis. Insecure new Presidents can be counted upon to act decisively, like a new intern – it takes experience and patience to watch carefully and wait quietly. Act! Boldly! Press the red button!
    Our Healthcare will be reorganized, prioritized, reintegrated, and come out of the Great Sausage Factory looking something like the TSA. Healthcare Security Administration! No more of these arrogant doctors and selfish nurses – place them under a pseudo-military command structure, or no license for you!
    Why, that sounds crackpot and tinfoil-hat-crazy. But whoever could predict this current structure of medicine 20 years ago would be viewed as a fearsome loony, mad as a hatter. “Nobody would stand for such insanity!” they would have said.
    When the mask falls off….

    • Sir Lance-a-Lot
      June 17, 2015 at 9:55 am

      “Healthcare is a matter of National Security!”

      “Terrorists and other enemies will try to weaken the People, and use biological weapons against us, and War may cause injuries to many, so we must make out healthcare system strong and focused!”

      “Healthcare is important to the individual, but even more important to the Homeland, so we cannot allow doctors to become bogged down with any one person – they are treating the Body of the whole People, and not just the bodies of a few patients!”

      “A healthy People is a strong People!”

      Now, how far fetched is that, right? Who would ever say things like that?
      They’d never get away with it – they’d be laughed out of office…

      Of course, if you replace the word “People” with “Volk,” as in “Volkswagen,” you will realize that people have said all of these things before, and been taken quite seriously, and doctors were more than happy to march as leaders at the forefront of that movement.

      Time will tell.

  4. Sir Lance-a-lot
    June 17, 2015 at 7:23 am

    And then, once they become “too big to fail,” the healthcare bubble (which it most definitely is) bursts, and their profits bog down and start failing to meet projections, who steps in to bail them out, and takes over the provision of medicine directly…?

    That’s right…

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