The LA Times asks an interesting question:
In short, this is an industry that acts as if it will have trouble making money unless regulators allow it to cover only injuries suffered by a young single male hit by an asteroid.
Meanwhile, however, it fritters premium income away on expenses generated largely by corporate initiatives having nothing to do with healthcare. WellPoint spent $2.6 billion repurchasing its own shares last year. This was such a good deal for shareholders that its board recently authorized spending an additional $3.5 billion for the same purpose. None of those dollars, it should go without saying, will be available for delivering healthcare to customers.
It would have been marvelous and uplifting if all the participants in Thursday’s health reform summit in Washington understood that as well as the insurers themselves.