Thursday, March 10, 2016

Aetna's CEO Backs Down from Negative ACA Remarks After Receiving Call from HHS Secretary

What Happened
Chad Terhune, in a February 29, 2016 KHN post, informs us that:

The head of Aetna Inc., the nation's third-largest health insurer, said he supports insurance exchanges, even though he questioned their sustainability earlier this month and lost money in the marketplaces last year.

Aetna Chief Executive Mark Bertolini said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell called him Feb. 1 shortly after he made critical remarks during an earnings conference call.

Why it Matters
In a highly regulated industry with an oligopoly of payers, it's clear that the insurers are just puppets of the government. Crony capitalism is scorned by rank and file Americans regardless of political affiliation. This is why outsider presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders (who often talks about a "rigged economy") and Donald Trump are doing so well in the polls.

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