Biggest winners in Obamacare? The health insurance companies. Very “progressive.”

ocare Big 5

Now everybody has to buy their product. One way or another. If someone doesn’t they are fined by the IRS. That is a pretty sweet deal for the insurance companies.

But we are told how Obamacare is a “progressive reform.” How finally everyone can get healthcare. How the President “stood up” to the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies.

Nonsense. Barrack Obama is the largest enabler of the big 5 health insurance companies there has ever been, by a long shot.

This is what hyper-statist Roosevelt Institute had to say. (They’d prefer a single payer plan of course.But the statement is interesting nonetheless.)

We’ve had a bailout for bankers and now the principle seems to be extended to the insurance industry. As Randy Wray and I discussed in a recent paper, the health care bill just signed into law entrenches the centrality of private health insurance companies and contain no serious proposals to limit costs. More people will get hit with deductions, co-pays, annual limits (for several more years), exclusions, out of pocket expenses. This will ensure that health CARE remains too expensive to actually take advantage of their new INSURANCE. And many currently insured people are going to get higher taxes. Premiums will rise.

A few paragraphs down they offer a valuable insight into the Obamacare political calculation by those in the “progressive” camp.

Our progressive allies have criticized us for drawing attention to these uncomfortable truths and failing to celebrate the President’s great social triumph. Yes, it may well have been catastrophic had the bill not passed, as it probably would have emboldened the radical forces of the right and torpedoed any hope of further significant reform legislation of any kind.

In other words—Even if Obamacare is a crony capitalist giveaway to the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies, the statist establishment must shine up the dung, because it is progressive dung. The heap of stinking subsidies is better than nothing. [sic]

Obamacare might be soft fascism, but fascism is better than letting the classical liberals win.

From the pro-market side of things Robert Lenzer at Forbes.com had this to say in a recent column;

We warned you back on December4, 2009 in my blog ” The Horrendous Truth About Health Care Reform” that the Obama White House was handing a “ free ride for the health insurance industry” that would allow premium hikes of 8%-10% a year by CIGNA, Humana HUM -0.74%Aetna AET -0.56%,UnitedHealth Group UNH -0.46% and Wellpoint, and as well  a $500 billion taxpayer subsidy, a half trillion dollars without any requirement that the health insurers had to spend the subsidy on medical care. Several US Senators including Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia spoke to me openly of the outrageous sellout being foisted on the nation’s uninsured citizens.

The hardcore socialists don’t like Obamcare. The free market people don’t like Obamacare. The only people who seem to like Obamacare are Kathleen Sebelius, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and the crony capitalists entrenched in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

How profitable is Obamacare likely to be for the “Big Five” health insurance companies? It looks like quite profitable indeed judging by the rise in healthcare stocks over the last year.

Aetna’s up nearly 50% in a year.

ocare Aetna

Humana and UnitedHealth are both up around 30%.

ocare Humana

ocare United Health

Wellpoint is up over 40%.

ocare wellpoint cc

And Cigna is up almost 60% in a year.

ocare Cigna

These are breathtaking returns. Over the past year these healthcare stocks have vastly outperformed the overall market.

Given that stocks are a reflection (for the most part) of anticipated earnings, what does this tell us about Obamacare?

Obama has increased profits for insurance companies, while burdening the overall economy with massive new regulations. It has forced many full time workers into part time jobs. It has expanded the power of the IRS and given the agency even more access to the lives of everyday Americans. It has forced spouses off of employer funded plans and it will raise premiums for most of those who purchase individual policies.

That the Obamacare website keeps exploding should be considered a blessing.