An op-ed in the Huffington Post today by Health Care For America Now Executive Director, Ethan Rome, illustrates how major health insurance companies saw their profits soar as they "charged more and provided less" in the last few years. All the while lining the campaign pockets of Republican supporters in Congress, who not only fought tooth and nail against health care reform in the first place, but are now working diligently to undermine the law, the Affordable Care Act, which has important consumer protections.
From the op-ed: "According a report by Public Campaign Action Fund, these five companies alone spent nearly $50 million lobbying lawmakers from 2008 to 2010, and their employees and political action committees spent more than $7.3 million on campaign contributions. Imagine what the rest of their industry spent!...Of course it's no shock that America's big insurance companies make huge amounts of money and then spend millions to own the Republican Party, which then protects their ability to make excessive profits and pay bloated CEO salaries."
Putting profits over people is nothing new. And as long as big money interests like the health insurance industry are able to spend millions for a compliant Congress, this sad episode will be repeated time and time again. Look for similar money in politics reports down the road. The problem is only getting worse.
Click here for the full Huffington Post piece.
Click here for the Public Campaign Action Fund Report.