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Aetna CEO slams single payer healthcare, gets facts wrong about Canada

Inuhanyou

Believes Dragon Quest is a franchise managed by Sony
Jul 26, 2014
26,221
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America
THE HEAD OF Aetna, the health insurance giant, not only slammed the gains being made in the push for universal Medicare, but also mocked its proponents as misguided.

Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, the third-largest health insurance company in the U.S., rejected the Medicare for All proposal released last week by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and a group of 16 Senate Democrats.

Bertolini, speaking at the Strategic Investor Initiative conference in New York on Tuesday in response to a question from The Intercept, said that the Sanders single-payer bill does ”nothing to fix the underlying cost structure" of the health care system. ”So if we refinance a lousy product, what do we get? A lousy result," Bertolini said.

The Aetna CEO also ridiculed proponents of single payer, suggesting that they are confused. Some supporters, Bertolini warned, are in fact ”talking about socializing all the hospitals and doctors — everybody's going to work for the government." He asked the room of investors and analysts to ”name a country that has single payer."

When several participants named Canada, Bertolini disputed the answer and claimed that Canada has a ”government-run health care system. They're not single payer, they're single everything."

During his response to our question about the Sanders proposal, Berolini noted that he is ”a little infamous for this conversation," referencing a leaked recording of a company-wide discussion in April, in which he appeared to signal openness to a debate over adopting single payer.

Immediately following the leak, Bertolini moved to distance himself from the idea. ”There's nowhere in the Constitution that says we will need to provide people health care," he said shortly after the tape came out. ”I think government-run health care would be a bad idea, because I think then you end up with the central planning problem that has crushed the Soviet and Russian economies."

The private health insurance system has been particularly lucrative for companies like Aetna. During his talk, Bertolini boasted that Aetna's stock price surged from $29.85 per share in November 2010 to $162 per share this week. His performance as CEO has also been handsomely rewarded: In 2016, he received a compensation package worth $41 million.

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/20/aetna-bernie-sanders-single-payer-medicare-for-all-health-care/

Canada does not control the hospitals or the doctors which are private, they are just funded by the government directly to treat all patients as opposed to going through a for profit insurance system, just as Sanders(and Conyers) bills map out.

Even if hospitals and doctors were directly contracted as government workers and were controlled by the government like the UK's NHS, that does not mean that the system is anywhere comparable to the Soviet Union.

This guy gets paid 41 million dollars a year. Aetna has merged with quite a few large entities to become a monopoly institution over the years.
 
Oct 28, 2015
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lol of course he does, and what's worse is working-class ignorant right-wingers will defend this buffoon instead of supporting something that would help them
 

WedgeX

Banned
Nov 21, 2004
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Isn't Aetna the one that was pulling out of profitable markets just to try and sabotage the Affordable Care Act?
 

Lonewulfeus

Member
Jun 24, 2013
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You mean a company that would likely become far less profitable if single payer became feasible is against single payer? I'm shocked!
 

Usobuko

Banned
Feb 3, 2013
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Hahahaha.

Vile human beings in charge where the public has no avenues to address their grieves.
 

Foffy

Banned
May 14, 2009
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Isn't Aetna the one that was pulling out of profitable markets just to try and sabotage the Affordable Care Act?

If not them, then some other slimeball company.

These types of companies are not too different in tier rankings, I'm sure.
 

ZealousD

Makes world leading predictions like "The sun will rise tomorrow"
Apr 17, 2007
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lol of course he thinks like this.

Why would the CEO of the nation's largest healthcare company have any idea how healthcare works in other countries?

Better idea to just pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist.
 

sphagnum

Banned
Oct 26, 2009
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Healthcare wasn't exactly the big problem in the USSR (if anything it was one of their better points), that was consumer goods.
 

Foffy

Banned
May 14, 2009
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Healthcare wasn't exactly the big problem in the USSR (if anything it was one of their better points), that was consumer goods.

Shh, Communism is bad at EVERYTHING EVER. That's what everyone reminds us of!

It must be true.
 

sfedai0

Banned
Nov 10, 2010
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This reminds me of Jame Dimon CEO of JP Morgan railing against bitcoins. Banking and healthcare are just so blatantly corrupt.
 

Chichikov

Member
Jul 26, 2006
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"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it" - Upton Sinclair.

Fuck this guy, and the tragedy is that even if we get a single payer system that eliminate most of the for profit health insurance companies in the US, that piece of shit is going to be fine, because he's fucking rich as fuck already.
 

Inuhanyou

Believes Dragon Quest is a franchise managed by Sony
Jul 26, 2014
26,221
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America
Isn't Aetna the one that was pulling out of profitable markets just to try and sabotage the Affordable Care Act?

Yes. Funny story about that. Their reason for their decision to pull out of the insurance exchanges is that they don't get as big a monopoly in certain areas as they'd like, as it 'stifles their flexibility'.

Also, by the way, after the interviewer started asking questions about SPH, he got ejected from the conference.

https://twitter.com/lhfang/status/910963215563153409
 

Crosseyes

Banned
Nov 14, 2013
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Aetna was the provider me and my wife were forced to, were forced into getting 'covered' medicine that made her sick, and now are getting kicked off of as they leave the insurance market in my state.

Scumbag invokes communism when if anything a gulag and a painful death is the least their CEO piece of shit deserves.
 

Ziltoidia 9

Member
Jul 1, 2013
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Lewisville, TX
Its sad that our government has let HC get so bad, for the profits of a few. Millions of people of their life quality basically stripped from them for clowns like this guy.

The HC coverage in this country is so horrible. They never talk about the real problems.
 

Joeku

Member
Sep 15, 2009
5,733
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Let the monster be eaten.
And let America come to universal health care.

Fuck this guy.
 

GSG Flash

Nobody ruins my family vacation but me...and maybe the boy!
Jul 7, 2004
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Looking at how much this man and his company make in a year, no wonder there's such a strong push against universal health care, people's health is a multi billion dollar industry in the US.
 

Inuhanyou

Believes Dragon Quest is a franchise managed by Sony
Jul 26, 2014
26,221
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America
Looking at how much this man and his company makes in a year, no wonder there's such a strong push against universal health care, people's health is a multi billion dollar industry in the US.

Try trillions. The US is projected to spend about 49 trillion dollars in the next 10 years on healthcare spending if we continue our current trajectory.

THat's what happens when the "free market" dictates that a particular for profit industry is allowed to foster a monopoly on an essential service like "energy" or "defense" or "healthcare"...or "news". This is the source of most of America's problems.

It becomes a huge for profit scheme where the government(via the congress or the white house directly) is lobbied relentlessly...until we get a party like the GOP. Half of the government(or more than half now) dedicated to the absolute destruction of human lives both abroad and on their own soil, now without even the illusion of hiding it.

And a media not willing to bother reporting the facts on the ground, or when reported, in the context they should be reported in.
 

Snowybreak

Member
Feb 28, 2015
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Somewhere delicious
Man, I was so glad I was given a choice when I signed up for Medicaid. They sent me a sheet with star rankings (given by patients of the various providers) under different categories for each provider and Aetna was ranked super low in every category.
 
Sep 12, 2013
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Unnecessary middle man that inflates the price of healthcare by inserting his inefficient company in the middle of healthcare transactions claims single payer doesn't work; surrounded by a world full of single payer systems vastly better than US's private "market-based" healthcare system.
 

SpyGuy239

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Mar 28, 2013
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Dublin
Aetna blows to begin with. I have a very hard time getting meds etc. approved for my patients that clearly need them,. SO many restrictions, it's BS>
 

Maximus.

Member
Apr 24, 2009
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People's health and life should not be for profit. Fucking sick mentality a lot of Americans hold in this regard.
 

EMT0

Banned
Dec 7, 2012
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I can't wait until health insurance as an industry crashes and burns into the ground.
 

Oblivion

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Jul 17, 2005
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The Aetna CEO also ridiculed proponents of single payer, suggesting that they are confused. Some supporters, Bertolini warned, are in fact “talking about socializing all the hospitals and doctors — everybody’s going to work for the government.” He asked the room of investors and analysts to “name a country that has single payer.”

When several participants named Canada, Bertolini disputed the answer and claimed that Canada has a “government-run health care system. They’re not single payer, they’re single everything.”

It's fascinating how conservatives, even in industries that they represent, get basic shit wrong all the time.
 

Widdle Puppy

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Apr 17, 2017
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there is an old conservative radio talking point about how the uk and canada have single payer and that the health care there is awful and people have to wait forever for simple shit and are dying because of it...
 

Foffy

Banned
May 14, 2009
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there is an old conservative radio talking point about how the uk and canada have single payer and that the health care there is awful and people have to wait forever for simple shit and are dying because of it...

Waiting lists? Those are usually the nonsense remarks I see.

"People wait forever there!"

People wait here, though that's due to waiting for money or for God to help their illness before an ER visit...
 

jet1911

Member
Feb 23, 2005
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Bertolini moved to distance himself from the idea. “There’s nowhere in the Constitution that says we will need to provide people health care,” he said shortly after the tape came out.

Eeewwwww.
 

Silent Chief

Member
Oct 17, 2014
3,363
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This guy's job is to maximize his company's profits.

In Canada, you still have to pay for ambulance fees ($50-100), dental and drugs.
Quebec has a mandatory drug plan system which means you have to be on the provincial plan if you don't have your own. Ontario uses dispensing fees for pharmacies--basically you pay the cost of the drug plus a flat fee ($5-25). Ontario tries to push generic drugs while Quebec push brand names since there is a big pharma based in Montreal. Every province manages its own health care system and the fed finances a part of it.
 

KernelPanic

Member
Apr 2, 2008
10,538
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Canada
It's fascinating how conservatives, even in industries that they represent, get basic shit wrong all the time.

I don't think they get it wrong so much as it's in their best interests for everyone else to have it wrong.

If people are going to talk shit about Canada health care system, USA should arrange field trips into Canada so people can learn what our health care system is and what it isn't.
 

Apt101

Member
May 15, 2014
11,012
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The state of Virginia within the USA
Full disclosure I work for a healthcare network that also sells insurance. Tech - not a care giver, but discussing the intricacies of these kinds of things is unavoidable.

The ACA has been good to us (including care givers and ancillary) financially. We're also caring human beings so even if it was a minor negative we'd still be for it, speaking for those I know. I am sure some doctors and executives would disagree given their circumstances, but the prevailing opinion of the ACA in my circles appears to be positive. Taking my personal experience and what I know about how Aetna functions, my conclusion is that Aetna are the vultures that the ACA was designed to curtail.

The ACA is just a stepping stone. There are problems with it due to compromises that had to be made to get it passed, but it was always designed as something to be built upon and improved. If only this country had voted more democrats into Congress and Hillary into the presidency. Alas.
 

Bubba_Sparks

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Mar 11, 2015
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Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Yes. Funny story about that. Their reason for their decision to pull out of the insurance exchanges is that they don't get as big a monopoly in certain areas as they'd like, as it 'stifles their flexibility'.

Also, by the way, after the interviewer started asking questions about SPH, he got ejected from the conference.

https://twitter.com/lhfang/status/910963215563153409

That doesn't surprise me. The entire conversation in America over healthcare is toxic. Just brining up single payer as a solution is derided. Americans seem to think it has never been tried before, or is some sort of evil socialist / communist plot to destroy their beautiful capitalist system.
 

Arttemis

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Jul 11, 2013
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Tens of thousands of dollars per day in wages... and he's not the highest paid. He's making three times the amount he did a few years ago, too.

Yeah, single payer can reduce jobs in the health care industry. Specifically, it targets these unimaginably parasitic insurance jobs that lead to syphoning vast sums of money out of people pockets and into their own. The entire objective of for-profit healthcare is to minimize coverage and maximize profits. That's ON TOP of the already bloated 10:1 ratio of administrators to doctors within the healthcare workforce. More people are working for lower salaries, and many of them are hired to correspond with insurance companies and ensure the hospitals abide with insurance standards, yet there is no improvement to the quality of care.
 

KibblesBits

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Jan 9, 2007
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This is the same company that exposed THOUSANDS of people's HIV status via mailing "errors".

This is the same company that pushes people to less than effective generics constantly and their shitty teledoc service where you try to have a medical consultation, online.

This is the same company that will go out of its way to be confusing and indirectly work against you if you file wrong or are in need of help outside of their preferred coverage area.

This is the same company that will find the cheapest and most inconvenient lab work companies they can to save a buck.

FUCK AETNA. It is the shittiest coverage one could have and if you have even worse plans in your area you REALLY REALLY should be supporting single payer because they are heartless thieves out to take your money and never truly care about or listen to you and your needs.

FUCK AETNA, one more time because everyone should have that mindset.
 

Aureon

Please do not let me serve on a jury. I am actually a crazy person.
May 27, 2013
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Still, he's right that medical costs in the USA are out of control.

For one, i'm positive cutting out private insurance companies is a good starting point.
Then, let's talk about public-funded medical colleges.