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Health Stocks, Insurance Take A Dive

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, February 27, 2009 9:35 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Merck, Big Pharma, Drug Companies

Following President Obamas budget plan some health stocks declined in value.

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IMAGE SOURCE:  ©iStockphoto/ medical profits/ author: deliormanli

 

Following details of President Obama’s budget proposals, shares of health insurers and pharmaceutical companies took a dive Thursday.

A proposal to cut federal payments that run private health insurance such as Medicare Advantage plans sent stocks down such as Humana - down 20 percent; UnitedHealth Group - down 14 percent; Coventry Health Care - down 14 percent. All are participants in Medicare Advantage.  Aetna was also down 13 percent upon the news that the health care proposal might limit profits.

The trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, issued a statement praising the president’s support of health reform while defending Medicare Advantage.

“Unfortunately, this proposal would force seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage to fund a disproportionate share of the costs to reform the health care system.  A cut of this scale would jeopardize the health security of more than ten million seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage and would turn back the clock on innovative payment incentives to improve the quality of care that patients receive,” says Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans.

Meanwhile investors sold off shares of Merck amid worries that President Obama’s proposal will further erode profits by allowing consumers to buy cheaper medicines and preventing drug companies from blocking generics, reports Reuters.

Merck’s stock fell about 48 percent last year. CEO Dick Clark’s compensation was just $19.9 million in 2008, up $200k from the previous year, and his base salary rose to $1.8 million from 1.6 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission proxy statement.

His salary will remain flat in 2009 the company’s board has decided.  “Merck’s 2008 performance wasn’t as strong as it could have been” reports the Wall Street Journal.  

Merck dropped 6.7 percent at $26.04. Humana was down 19.5 percent to $23.64.  #  


5 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by John Collins
Saturday, February 28, 2009 1:44 AM EST

Health insurance companies play a major role in our current healthcare crisis. These companies make huge profits and their CEOs make millions, while the rest of us face skyrocketing healthcare costs, impossible bureaucracy, and life-diminishing insurance denials.

HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY PROFITS IN 2007:

1. UnitedHealth Group -- $ 4.654 BILLION. UnitedHealth Group owns Oxford, PacifiCare, IBA, AmeriChoice, Evercare, Ovations, MAMSI and Ingenix, a healthcare data company

2. WellPoint -- $ 3.345 BILLION. Wellpoint owns BLUES across the US, including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Healthy Alliance, and many others

3. Aetna Inc. -- $ 1.831 BILLION

4. CIGNA Corp -- $ 1.115 BILLION

5. Humana Inc. -- $ 834 million

6. Coventry Health Care -- $626 million. Coventry owns Altius, Carelink, Group Health Plan, HealthAmerica, OmniCare, WellPath, others

7. Health Net -- $ 194 million

The huge insurance company profits—BILLIONS EACH YEAR—could be used to provide quality healthcare for millions of people, and to pay physicians adequately for their work.

We need to get the insurance companies OUT of healthcare . The only solution is a NON-PROFIT SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE SYSTEM – and the single payer should not be an insurance company or a group of insurance companies.

The solution? The United States National Health Insurance Act, H.R. 676. You can read about it here: LINK

FOR MORE INFORMATION: LINK and LINK

Anonymous User
Posted by DWalsh
Saturday, February 28, 2009 1:45 AM EST

WHO’S LOOKING AT THE COMPENSATION OF THE HEALTHCARE INSURANCE EXECUTIVES?

The health insurance companies have played a major role in our current healthcare crisis. They make huge profits and their CEOs make millions, while the rest of us are denied care.

ANNUAL COMPENSATION OF HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY EXECUTIVES (2006 and 2007 figures):

• Ronald A. Williams, Chair/ CEO, Aetna Inc., $23,045,834
• H. Edward Hanway, Chair/ CEO, Cigna Corp, $30.16 million
• David B. Snow, Jr, Chair/ CEO, Medco Health, $21.76 million
• Michael B. MCallister, CEO, Humana Inc, $20.06 million
• Stephen J. Hemsley, CEO, UnitedHealth Group, $13,164,529
• Angela F. Braly, President/ CEO, Wellpoint, $9,094,771
• Dale B. Wolf, CEO, Coventry Health Care, $20.86 million
• Jay M. Gellert, President/ CEO, Health Net, $16.65 million
• William C. Van Faasen, Chairman, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3 million plus $16.4 million in retirement benefits
• Charlie Baker, President/ CEO, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, $1.5 million
• James Roosevelt, Jr., CEO, Tufts Associated Health Plans, $1.3 million
• Cleve L. Killingsworth, President/CEO Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, $3.6 million
• Raymond McCaskey, CEO, Health Care Service Corp (Blue Cross Blue Shield), $10.3 million
• Daniel P. McCartney, CEO, Healthcare Services Group, Inc, $ 1,061,513
• Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555
• Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825
• Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751
• Daniel Loepp, CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, $1,657,555
• Todd S. Farha, CEO, WellCare Health Plans, $5,270,825
• Michael F. Neidorff, CEO, Centene Corp, $8,750,751

This executive compensation could be used to provide quality healthcare for millions of Americans! We need to get the insurance companies and their lobbyists OUT of healthcare. NON-PROFIT, SINGLE-PAYER IS THE ONLY OPTION.

If you want to learn more, go to:
LINK

Anonymous User
Posted by Care4all
Saturday, February 28, 2009 1:47 AM EST

Martin Luther King said, "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane."

Congressman John Conyers has introduced HR 676, The United States National Health Insurance Act, to ensure that every American, regardless of income, employment status, or race, has access to quality, affordable health care services.

To end the inhumanity of our failed healthcare insurance system, where profits are more important than patients’ health, ask your Representatives to support John Conyer's HR 676 Bill.

HEALTHCARE SHOULD BE A RIGHT, NOT A BUSINESS. WHY ISN’T SINGLE-PAYER ON THE TABLE?

For more information on HR 676, see:
LINK

Anonymous User
Posted by Ray Fonseca
Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:49 PM EST

If you do away with the current system.We will become a country where government tells you when, how and how much health care will be spent on an individual. That has not worked on Universal Care Countries, I have heard horror stories. The best way is to expand the care as is now and curtail the big bonuses the VIP's are receiving in the Insurance Companies.

Anonymous User
Posted by Jarda Kozich
Monday, March 02, 2009 3:40 PM EST

It's really sad how naive socialistic ideas you have. Maybe Kuba could be your ideal?
I'm not saying the current system is good, but what you propose is just silly socialism.

Comments for this article are closed.

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