You probably haven't heard -- at least not lately -- that some of the biggest health insurers are moving full steam ahead to merge with each other, which means that tens of millions of us -- yes, millions -- will be affected next year. And not in a good way.
Folks, we are guilty of magical thinking. We've fallen for insurers' deception and misdirection, hook, line and sinker. And many of us can't be persuaded that we are being duped. Meanwhile, the shareholders of the big for-profits are laughing all the way to the bank. Every single day.
The health care plan is a work in progress, and will be for a while.
UnitedHealth Group's negative outlook on the health law isn't a good sign, but there's more to the story.
If regulators approve the recently announced mega-deals in which Aetna, Inc. would buy Humana Inc. and Anthem Inc. would buy Cigna Corp., will consumers benefit? Or will the winners be limited primarily to the executives and shareholders of the companies involved?
When the CEOs of Aetna and Humana announced a few days ago that they had agreed to a deal in which Aetna will pay $37 billion for Louisville-based Humana, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky pointed the finger of blame straight at Obamacare.
Among the losers -- in addition to the people enrolled in the insurers' health plans -- will be many of the employees of the acquired companies, and taxpayers in the cities that come out on the short end of the stick when the combined companies decide where the corporate headquarters will be.
Remember Blockbuster? In its heyday -- which wasn't so long ago -- Blockbuster had 60,000 employees and 9,000 locations. For most Americans, for a minute anyway, it was the place to rent a movie.
The health insurance industry took advantage of Washington's infamous revolving door last week when it named former Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, perceived by many to be a liberal Democrat, as the face of its latest K Street-operated front group.
Anyone who still thinks the Affordable Care Act was a "government takeover of health care" should consider this headline from the news pages of last Thursday's Investor's Business Daily -- a Wall Street publication whose editorial writers have rarely missed an opportunity to bash the healthcare-reform law.
Among those who apparently have not yet benefited much at all, at least so far, are owners of small businesses who would like to keep offering coverage to their employees but can no longer afford it. They can't afford it because insurers keep jacking their rates up so high every year that more and more of them are dropping employee health benefits altogether.
Insurers know the president won't allow the law to be repealed or even altered substantially, which will be good for future profits, and they also know they can count on the Republicans to push through legislation to get rid of the health plan tax and let them sell low-value policies again.
Regardless of where you live, you should check out those rankings before selecting your insurance carrier for 2015. You'll find that, just as in California, the nonprofits lead the pack and the for-profits are eating their dust.
What Boeing is doing represents a seismic shift in health care financing and delivery that potentially will have more far-reaching effects than Obamacare, primarily because it is coming from the private sector, not the government.
For the next two months, Californians will to be subjected to a barrage of TV, radio and online ads, which, ironically, they unknowingly will be paying for with their health insurance premiums.
Almost all of the publicly traded health insurers reported big increases in revenue and profits last year. The big winners have been the top executives of those companies, led by Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, the nation's third largest health insurer.
About 35 states have given their insurance departments the legal power of prior approval of proposed health insurance rate changes. California is not among them, and advocates believe the state's residents are paying more for their health insurance coverage than necessary.