Sunday Jan 08, 201206:51 PM GMT
Insurer profits up in the wake of healthcare law
Sun Jan 8, 2012 6:50PM
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Since insurance companies undertook extensive lobbying efforts against healthcare reform -- spending millions in an attempt to derail the legislation while it was still going through Congress, and allegedly instructing their own employees to launch letter-writing campaigns in protest -- they've actually been doing quite well since it passed.

 

Profits are up at some of the nation's largest insurers, including Aetna, WellPoint and UnitedHealth Group, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Government. That's the opposite of what the insurers themselves predicted would happen, and comes about mainly a result of the companies taking on more business through Medicare and Medicaid. Huffington Post

 

HIGHLIGHTS

The fight over healthcare reform, which ended when President Obama signed the legislation into law in March 2010, was one of the most prolonged and contentious political battles in recent memory. Huffington Post

 

Conservatives mounted a fierce opposition to the reform effort, aided by a $380 million lobbying campaign on behalf of the healthcare industry. Huffington Post

 

Insurers claimed that the new system would lead to skyrocketing coverage costs for all Americans, while politicians favoring reform countered that the insurance companies were merely worried about their own bottom lines. All Topics

 

The recent earnings of five of the country's largest insurers -- WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group, Aetna, Humana and Cigna -- and finds that their profit margins have climbed to an average of 8.24 percent in the year and a half since the healthcare reform package was signed into law. Bloomberg

 

By contrast, in the 18-month period before healthcare was passed, profit margins at these five insurers averaged just 6.88 percent. All Topics

 

A number of provisions in the law are scheduled to take effect in future months and years, while conservative politicians, including Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney, have threatened to roll back the reforms entirely. Huffington Post

 

ARA/DB

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