This article, headlined "Health Insurers Making Record Profits as Many Postpone Care," first appeared in The New York Times. The nation’s major health insurers are barreling into a third year of record profits, enriched in recent months by a lingering recessionary mind-set among Americans who are postponing or forgoing medical care.
"Yet the companies continue to press for higher premiums, even though their reserve coffers are flush with profits and shareholders have been rewarded with new dividends. Many defend proposed double-digit increases in the rates they charge, citing a need for protection against any sudden uptick in demand once people have more money to spend on their health, as well as the rising price of care." And of course, they need tort reform!
The insurers’ recent prosperity — big insurance companies have reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts expectations by an average of 30 percent — may make it difficult for anyone, politicians and industry executives alike, to argue that the industry has been hurt by the federal health care law.