Friday, October 9

Health Care Reform: Mom and Pop v. The Big Box

To hear it from antagonists of a public healthcare option, the possibility of "Guvment Run Health Care" is likened to a Big Box store moving into town and killing off the Mom and Pop local operations. The only thing is, the Mom and Pop's in this scenario are not the local hardware store or five and dime, they are Fortune 500 companies with revenues that exceed the GNP of Israel and Venezuela combined:

1. UnitedHealth Group Fortune 500 Rank #21 (Revenues $81,186,000,000)
2. WellPoint #32 ($61,251,100,000)
3. Aetna #77 ($30,950,700,000)
4. Humana #85 ($28,946,400,000)
5. Cigna #132 ($19,101,000,000)
6. Health Net #165 ($15,366,000,000)
7. Coventry Health Care #226 ($11,913,600,000)
8. WellCare Health Plans #381 ($6,521,900,000)
9. Universal American #494 ($4,659,200,000)
10. Amerigroup #509 ($4,516,000,000)

It seems implausible to me that a public option would be capable of crippling all of these giants. If such an option makes a dent, it is likely because the insurance giants' profits are well above the cost of doing business or not serving people who can least afford their products. If a not-for-profit can compete and can service areas where competition is less than robust or even where there is limited competition, isn't that the way economies are supposed to work?

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