For those of us who read CMS's (Medicare/Medicaid) own report on what they intend to do in the next 5 years, it includes transferring 80% of Medicare patients to Medicare Advantage, which by definition, is run by private companies like AET/HUM/UNH. The eventual goal is to get to as close to 100% as possible. These are the governments OWN words. They have been raising medicare premiums ruthlessly in the last few years to do this.
I am a physician so I know how the game is played. Let me break this down for you. Healthcare is a $4T business in this country, and yet, the market capitalization of all the major health insurance companies is about 250B dollars. Just one banking company, Wells Fargo, has a larger Market Cap than the major US Health Insurance companies put together. And finance is half the size ($2T) business that healthcare is. Why do people regard the Insurance companies as the big bad guys when just one drug company, JNJ, is again bigger at $280B than all health insurance companies put together? Well thats because insurance companies are the face of the business to consumers, and they are there to control costs and prevent unnecessary tests. Our country pays 2x the cost of healthcare that other modern countries do. There is an incredible amount of unnecessary care. I have seen doctors delay announcing brain death so that the ICU can collect more money from insurance companies and medicare. I have seen hospitals refuse to open Diabetes management clinics because a patient being admitted to the ICU in a diabetes induced coma pays a lot more. I have seen stents placed in healthy coronary arteries so that the cardiologist could pick up another $800 from insurnace.
This is all going to end. The ultimate hidden purpose of Obamacare is to wind down Medicare and place all patients in the hands of private insurance companies. We see this already as Medicare raises premiums unless seniors sign over their benefit into Medicare Advantage. They will get everyone into MA, and then all patients will belong to medical insurance companies. These insurance companies will wield enormous power. It may not be this quarter, but they will be behemoths. Also, unlike Medicare who pays without asking many questions, these companies will scour the books of hospitals in search of the kind of fraud i list above. Free market, baby.