Aetna has announced they plan to raise their premiums next year and expect to lose over 600,000 subscribers by doing so. They claim they need to do this to insure the profits they promised to their shareholders. Especially since the last few quarters have cut into their bottom line.
I have to ask you, if you were a shareholder in a company that had a net income of $403.7 million for the third quarter of this year, the one they claim was so bad, would you want to have them try to make more money? Even though they're claiming their profit margins are down, last year in the third quarter their net income was $292.6 million. So far this year, Aetna's net profit is $1,343,900,000. That's 1.3 billion dollars. And that's up from year on year from 1,229,000,000 in 2008. Go look for yourself. It's all right there in the public domain. They've pulled in 8.7 billion dollars in revenue this quarter alone but that's not enough.
What Aetna is saying here is let's raise the premiums and kick over half a million people off our rolls. Their health is less important that the bottom line. We must deliver on our promises for profits to continue to rise indefinitely even in the midst of a recession.
What they're really saying is they do not care if you live or die. They do not care if you go bankrupt when the difference between what they cover and what the actual cost of your care is exceeds your personal net worth. As long as they continue to make obscene profits, all is well.
But we don't need health care reform. No. We need to rely on companies like this to care about their customers. They can police themselves.
They've done a bang up job so far.