Health Insurance Giant Gets Massive Profits Thanks to Obamacare

The health insurance Giant Aetna is profiting a great deal through the Affordable Care Act.

aetna chart

Burce Jaspen writes at Forbes.com, “Aetna CEO Says Obamacare An ‘Attractive Growth Opportunity.’”

How nice for him.

Health insurer Aetna said it would make more money than originally anticipated thanks to “attractive growth” from new enrollment on public exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

Aetna now expects its 2015 earnings per share of “at least $7.00” compared to an earlier projection of at least “$6.90” per share, according to chief executive officer Mark Bertolini who told Wall Street analysts and investors the public exchange business can become “an attractive growth opportunity.”

Aetna “enrolled nearly 600,000 public exchange members, while exceeding our initial profitability projections in this new program,” Bertolini said of the number of health plan members the insurer enrolled via public exchanges where uninsured Americans purchase subsidized coverage under the health law. “As we enter the second year of this emerging marketplace, we are cautiously optimistic on the potential for public exchanges to develop into an attractive growth opportunity.”

Those new members contributed to 2014 growth of an additional 1.4 million health plan members, or 6 percent growth, from 2013 bringing total enrollment of “medical members” to 23.5 million by the end of last year. The company is also seeing solid growth from its Medicare Advantage health plans thanks to the health law’s star-ratings system that rewards plans for quality improvement.

What would have happened if Aetna had admitted earlier that they would be able to make so much money from the Affordable Care Act? Are they really surprised by the profits or were they lowballing in order to not provoke criticism?

I think the comment at the Against Crony Capitalism website is quite accurate: “Aetna has more than trippled in stock price since Obamacare passed. It’s almost like the law was written FOR them or something.”

Yeah, or more than almost!

Remember, one way that insurance companies are making so much money is that they are charging high deductibles so that people opt to not go to the doctor. They can’t afford to pay the deductible. Thus, the insurance companies get people to pay premiums (because the government will penalize them if they don’t) but they don’t have to do as much for their customers. They have found a way to get people to buy something they can’t use.

It is all thanks to Obamacare.

This is not the first time that an insurance company has claimed to be surprised by how well Obamacare was working for them. That is simply not credible. The insurance companies have gotten the government to force people to buy their product, so they can sell a less usable product at a higher price. It is no surprise that the profits are rolling in for them. From Against Crony Capitalism, again:

And all the profits the Aetna CEO is so happy about? They are a direct transfer of wealth from the middle class via taxes to his corporation’s bottom line. Congratulations big government people. Way to embrace corporatism.

Way to grind middle class America into the mud so you can stand higher. Enjoy it while you can.