Commentary: candidates say this and that about health care, but it's the insurers and pharmaceutical companies that call the tune
By Wendell Potter for Public Integrity, Sept. 28, 2015
Presidential candidates from both parties are full of sound and fury about various aspects of the U.S. health care system, but unless we as a nation get serious about big money in politics, all the noise will ultimately amount to nothing.
Every one of the Republican candidates has pledged to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But I’m not sure they realize that the interests of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, as well as hospitals and physicians, were considered first and foremost as the law was being drafted.
Yes, Obamacare has brought some needed reforms to the insurance marketplace and has enabled millions of previously uninsured Americans to finally get coverage. But health insurers have not only thrived since the law was passed, they are more profitable than ever, and that has made their executives and investors happy—and richer. The stock prices of the five largest for-profit insurers have tripled and in some cases quadrupled since the law was passed.