Health Insurance Stocks Soar As Senate Bill Nears Passage

Michael Santo's picture

The Senate is on the verge of passing a health care reform bill. It was intended to be a health insurance reform bill, but as MSNBC's Joe Scarborough says, it's now a boon the insurance industry.

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough appeared on Sunday's Meet The Press. He was asked a direct question about health care: "What has President Obama achieved?" His cynical answer: "He has made a lot of people with insurance stock a lot richer."

In fact, without the public option that has been abandoned by the Senate, all the health care reform bill does in ensure that Americans must buy private insurance, thus inflating the coffers of insurance companies. It's a win-win for them. It gives them additional customers who are forced by law to get health insurance, and some of them will have subsidies paid for by the rest of us.

Joe Scarborough said the following:

"This [bill] is great for insurance companies. They were going to reform the system [but] neither side wanted to take on the insurance companies. Neither side wanted to get rid of anti-trust exemptions. Neither side really pushed hard to allow you or me or anybody here to buy across state lines.

"And as Howard Dean said -- and this is a devastating fact -- insurance companies' stocks reached [52-week] highs on Friday after this so called reform bill got its 60th vote. So David Axelrod, who I love and respect, but David Axelrod kept saying 'we took on the insurance companies, this is real reform, they're against it.' Really? I don't think so."

Single payer is what many Americans want. The public option was a middle-ground. The only hope is that when reconciliation is done between the House and Senate bills, the public option is reintroduced.

Written by Michael Santo

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