Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions

NUMBER 35 WITH A BULLET

Posted by Andrew Roman on October 26, 2009

In July, on PBS’s News Hour, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said:

I think there’s a lot of interest in taxing the insurance companies because people really do see across America. They know that (the insurance companies) have caused the problem we have with their anti-trust exemption … and the immoral profits. They’re making billions of dollars in profits while they’re cutting off benefits that they are entitled to.

Last week, Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid, said:

They are so anti-competitive. Why? Because they make more money than any other business in America today… What a sweet deal they have.

It’s a common theme from the Left.

Insurance companies are all about their disgustingly gross profits and are willing to see Americans drop dead and rot in the streets to preserve them. One could only deduce, listening to Democrats go on and on about the obscene money being pulled in by these insensitive corporate greed merchants, that the industry as a whole must be one of the most lucrative in America, if not the most lucrative. If anyone in the United States is swimming in profits, it has to be the fat cat insurance companies.

Democrats say so.

Well, it’s not even close.

In fact, insurance companies ranked an unimpressive 35th on the Fortune 500 list of most profitable American industries.

Calvin Woodward, from the Associated Press writes:

Quick quiz: What do these enterprises have in common? Farm and construction machinery, Tupperware, the railroads, Hershey sweets, Yum food brands and Yahoo? Answer: They’re all more profitable than the health insurance industry. In the health care debate, Democrats and their allies have gone after insurance companies as rapacious profiteers making “immoral” and “obscene” returns while “the bodies pile up.”

Ledgers tell a different reality. Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That’s anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.

Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans.

To be precise, insurance companies posted a 2.2% profit.

For those keeping score at home, that’s .6% less profitable than being a member of Congress, all of whom received an average 2.8% pay raise from last year.

And that includes Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Just out of curiosity … I wonder where Jesse Jackson’s shake-down/race-based extortion enterprise ranks this year?
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