Over the first six months of this year, the six largest, for-profit health insurance companies have reported profits that exceeded Wall Street's expectations.
United Healthcare, for example, reported second quarter earnings that were the most they've ever made over three months in their history. They've been making enormous profits.
One of the reasons is because they've spent far less on medical claims. That's because so many elective procedures were canceled. So they've been taking in money. Their membership has been declining, but even with those declines in membership, they've still been able to take in record revenues and convert those revenues to record profits.
Big corporations are spending enormous sums of money to influence campaigns and public policy, both legislation and regulations, blocking progressive reforms.
There is a front group that is funded by industry money called the Partnership for America's Healthcare Future. The money comes from the insurance industry, but also from the pharmaceutical industry and big hospital chains. At one point they were spending more money in Iowa than the candidates were spending to try to scare people away from reform. And they were attacking not only Medicare for All, but any kind of meaningful reforms, including the public option.
Healthcare reform activist Wendell Potter founder of the non-profit group, the Center for Health and Democracy, explained, "The COVID pandemic has really laid bare so many of the problems that we have in this country when it comes to our healthcare system," he said. "It also has shown just how greedy the insurance industry is and how it's able to profiteer. Over the first six months of this year, the six largest, for-profit health insurance companies have reported profits that exceeded Wall Street's expectations...We've also seen laid bare the absurdity of our employer-based healthcare system. A lot of the candidates during the primary talked a great deal about how much Americans valued the employer-based healthcare system… Well, what we've seen made abundantly clear in the pandemic is that Americans have been losing their jobs by the millions, more than 40 million people have applied for unemployment compensation. And a lot of those people have also lost their health insurance." He then added, "People are dying unnecessarily in this country."