Home Markets The Massive UnitedHealth Hack Is Obamacare’s Fault and That’s No Lie

The Massive UnitedHealth Hack Is Obamacare’s Fault and That’s No Lie

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The following content is sponsored by Americans for Limited Government.

Remember that moment 15 years ago when then President Barack Obama promised that his plan for socialized medicine would not extend to illegal aliens, and Rep. Joe Wilson yelled out, “You lie!” Remember how Democrats and their media enablers all denounced Wilson both for his lack of decorum and for lying himself?

Wilson was wrong at the time. Not about calling out Obama for lying about Democrats’ plan to steal taxpayer money to give to their future voters; he was wrong to not say “You lie!” at every line that came out of Obama’s mouth. Even NPR gave Obama the “Lie of the Year” award in 2013 over Obamacare, and NPR only employs Democrats.

The ridiculously named Affordable Care Act (ACA) turns 15 years old next March. It is the crowning example of the Democrats saying that they just! want! to! help! people! but passing power grabs that only help themselves. Obama even found a way to twist the pejorative “Obamacare” into the catch-phrase, “Yes, Obama cares!

Much like pre-Team America Iraq, the ACA was promised to make hospitals across America happy places with rainbow skies and rivers made of chocolate, where children dance and laugh and play with gumdrop smiles! However, what we’ve gotten instead is incompetence, massive profits for vertically integrated insurance companies, and even AI-backed healthcare rationing.

The incompetence that guided Obamacare was on display recently when cyber hackers outsmarted UnitedHealth Group in late February. The division of UnitedHealth Group that transmits claims, Change Healthcare, was the subject of a ransomware attack, delaying payments for prescriptions, doctors, and everything else. The company performs 15 billion transactions per year, so the consequences of UnitedHealth ignoring adequate cybersecurity is proving disastrous.

The cyberattack is such a big deal that the Senate Finance Committee next week is holding a hearing on the subject, where they will (one hopes) hold the feet of UnitedHealth CEO Andrew Witty to the fire. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a similar hearing on May 1.

The most obvious question to ask is, “How can you not afford decent cybersecurity?” UnitedHealth has been raking in record profits thanks to Obamacare. Last year, its net profits were $22.4 billion, and it’s in the running to become the first healthcare conglomerate with a $1 trillion market cap.

So, it seems like the company could afford some white hats. It increased premiums 13 percent last year, so that money has to go somewhere, right? Certainly not into the pockets of CEO Witty, who just made a modest $25 million last year.

It appears you can get away with quite a bit when you’re a government-backed monopoly.

One of the reasons UnitedHealth pulls in its record profits is because it rations care. The company used AI to systemically deny benefits to people through an intermediary called NaviHealth. Insurance monopolies like UnitedHealth are increasingly trying to control every step of patient care, and technology is making that easy for them. So, if you’re one of the 52 percent of Americans worried about the future of AI, don’t worry: the bad stuff is already here.

It could get worse though.

From 2019 to 2022, AARP spent more than $60 million to push a “rent seeking” provision in the Inflation Reduction Act – legislation so dishonestly named that it makes the Affordable Care Act almost sound honest. This provision allows Medicare to engage in so-called “negotiations” with pharmaceutical manufacturers over prices.  The problem is that making companies an offer they can’t refuse by imposing a 95 percent tax on them if they don’t agree isn’t a negotiation at all. And AARP’s victory lap article left it unsaid how these negotiation requirements would benefit private insurers who subsidize AARP. Moreover, the IRA expands subsidies under ACA to private insurance providers, which will help pad those billion-dollar profits even more.

Free market policy advocacy group American Commitment President Phil Kerpen wrote, “Under the IRA insurers like UnitedHealth are in line for a financial windfall with super-sized subsidies for Obamacare policies and government price controls dictating pricing of many medicines.”

(He doesn’t lie.)

Obamacare is 21st century snake oil. It seems like when Obama said: “If you like your plan, you can keep it,” “This won’t cover illegal aliens,” “This won’t add a dime to the deficit,” or even “Obama cares,” what he meant was: “We will make your healthcare a badly run vertically integrated monopoly that will withhold care, enrich executives, and expose you to hackers.”

Both Obama and Wilson are still in DC, so maybe it’s time for a rematch. This time, Wilson can just say, “I told you so.”

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