The American Dream
April 12, 2011
What is the appropriate word to use when you find out that the top executive at the third largest health insurance company in America raked in 68.7 million dollars in 2010? How is one supposed to respond when one learns that more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies make over a billion dollars in profits each year? Is it okay to get angry when you discover that over 90 percent of all hospital bills contain “gross overcharges”? Once upon a time, going into the medical profession was seen as a “noble” thing to do. But now the health care industry in the United States has become one giant money making scam and it is completely dominated by health insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations, lawyers and corporate fatcats. In America today, just one trip to the hospital can cost you tens of thousands of dollars even if you do not stay for a single night. The sad thing is that the vast majority of the money that you pay out for medical care does not even go to your doctor. In fact, large numbers of doctors across the United States are going broke. Rather, it is the “system” that is soaking up almost all of the profits. We have a health care industry in the United States that is fundamentally broken and it needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.
But wasn’t that what Obamacare was supposed to do? No, in fact Obamacare was largely written by representatives from the health insurance industry and the pharmaceutical industry. Once it was signed into law the stocks of most health insurance companies went way up.
The truth is that Obamacare was one of the worst pieces of legislation in modern American history. It did nothing to fix our health care problems. Rather, it just made all of our health care problems much worse.
In case you haven’t noticed, health insurance companies all over the United States have announced that they are going to raise premiums significantly due to the new law. Of course they are just using it as an excuse. They have been sticking it to us good for the last several decades and they just grab hold of whatever excuse they can find to justify the latest rate hike.
If you are looking for a legal way to drain massive amounts of money out of average Americans just become a health care company executive. Health care has become perhaps the greatest money making scam in the United States. When Americans are sick and have to go to the hospital most of them aren’t really thinking about how much it will cost. At that point they are super vulnerable and ready to be exploited.
It is almost unbelievable how much money some of these companies make. Health insurance companies are more profitable when they provide less health care. Pharmaceutical companies aren’t in the business of saving lives. Rather, they are in the business of inflating the profit margins on their drugs as much as possible. Many hospitals have adopted a policy of charging “whatever they can get away with”, knowing that the vast majority of the public will never challenge the medical bills.
The system is broken.
Everyone knows it.
But it never gets fixed.
The following are 25 shocking facts that prove that the entire U.S. health care industry is one giant money making scam….
#1 The chairman of Aetna, the third largest health insurance company in the United States, brought in a staggering $68.7 million during 2010. Ron Williams exercised stock options that were worth approximately $50.3 million and he raked in an additional $18.4 million in wages and other forms of compensation. The funny thing is that he left the company and didn’t even work the whole year.
#2 The top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States combined to receive nearly $200 million in total compensation in 2009.
#3 One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.
#4 Over the last decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen from about 38 million to about 52 million.
#5 According to one survey, approximately 1 out of every 4 Californians under the age of 65 has absolutely no health insurance.
#6 According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.
#7 Profits at U.S. health insurance companies increased by 56 percent during 2009.
#8 According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America’s five biggest for-profit health insurance companies ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.
#9 Health insurance rate increases are getting out of control. According to the Los Angeles Times, Blue Shield of California plans to raise rates an average of 30% to 35%, and some individual policy holders could see their health insurance premiums rise by a whopping 59 percent this year alone.
#10 According to an article on the Mother Jones website, health insurance premiums for small employers in the U.S. increased 180% between 1999 and 2009.
#11 Why are c-sections on the rise? It is because a vaginal delivery costs approximately $5,992 on average, while a c-section costs approximately $8,558 on average.
#12 Since 2003, health insurance companies have shelled out more than $42 million in state-level campaign contributions.
#13 Between 2000 and 2006, wages in the United States increased by 3.8%, but health care premiums increased by 87%.
#14 There were more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies that made over a billion dollars in profits in 2008.
#15 Each year, tens of billions of dollars is spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the United States alone.
#16 Nearly half of all Americans now use prescription drugs on a regular basis according to a CDC report that was just released. According to the report, approximately one-third of all Americans use two or more pharmaceutical drugs, and more than ten percent of all Americans use five or more prescription drugs on a regular basis.
#17 According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.
#18 The Food and Drug Administration reported 1,742 prescription drug recalls in 2009, which was a gigantic increase from 426 drug recalls in 2008.
#19 Lawyers are certainly doing their part to contribute to soaring health care costs. According to one recent study, the medical liability system in the United States added approximately $55.6 billion to the cost of health care in 2008.
#20 According to one doctor interviewed by Fox News, “a gunshot wound to the head, chest or abdomen” will cost $13,000 at his hospital the moment the victim comes in the door, and then there will be significant additional charges depending on how bad the wound is.
#21 In America today, if you have an illness that requires intensive care for an extended period of time, it is ridiculously really easy to rack up medical bills that total over 1 million dollars.
#22 It is estimated that hospitals overcharge Americans by about 10 billion dollars every single year.
#23 One trained medical billing advocate says that over 90 percent of the medical bills that she has audited contain “gross overcharges“.
#24 It is not uncommon for insurance companies to get hospitals to knock their bills down by up to 95 percent, but if you are uninsured or you don’t know how the system works then you are out of luck.
#25 According to one recent report, Americans spend approximately twice as much as residents of other developed countries on health care.
Sadly, the pillaging of the American people only seems to be accelerating.
Whether it is as a result of Obamacare or not, health insurers have decided that this is the season to raise health insurance premiums. Just consider the following excerpt from a recent article on Fox News….
Here is the terse reason CareFirst/Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Washington gave its subscribers for raising a monthly premium from $333 to $512 on a middle aged man who is healthy, is not a smoker and is not obese: “Your new rate reflects the overall rise in health care costs and we regret having to pass these additional costs on to you.”
512 dollars a month for health insurance for a healthy non-smoker?
Are they serious?
Apparently they are.
Things have gotten so bad that an increasing number of Americans are going outside of the country for medical care.
According to numbers released by Deloitte Consulting, a whopping 875,000 Americans were “medical tourists” in 2010.
Is there anyone out there that is not paid by the health care industry that is still willing to defend it?
Is there anyone out there that still believes that the health care industry is not just one giant money making scam?
Feel free to leave your comments below. In particular, if you have a horror story about a health insurance company, a pharmaceutical company or the health care industry as a whole please share it with us….
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