Skip to main content

272 billion reasons to fear privatization

Below is a list of the 11 US health corporations on the Fortune 500 list.  They had a combined revenue of approximately $272 billion in 2011.   They make about $15 billion in profits.

These aren't your friendly mom and pop businesses.  This is BIG business.

Trying to reform America's largely for-profit health care system is bound to come up against these interests.  With such large revenue streams they have incredible power and resources to divert health care reform to match their own interests.  They have (literally) billions of reasons to do so.

Corporate health care has not led to good results.  The privatized American system is far and away the most expensive health care system in  the world.  Despite this, tens of millions of Americans have no health care insurance and tens of millions more have inadequate health care insurance.

Already, we are beginning to see a similar trend (on a smaller scale)  in the long term care, health care infrastructure, and home care sectors in Canada, where corporations have crept in.  Private insurance corporations are probably burning to expand their (currently) secondary role in health care.

If Canada let's more and more corporations run our health care system, we will more and more face the same corporate interests able and willing to push health care in the same direction that corporate health care pushes the American system.

RankCompanyFortune 500 rank$ millions% change from 2010$ millions% change from 2010
1UnitedHealth Group22101,862.08.25,142.011.0
6Coventry Health Care21912,186.75.2543.123.8
7Health Net22111,901.0-12.672.1-64.7
9WellCare Health Plans4016,106.912.3264.2N.A.
11Molina Healthcare5004,769.916.720.8-62.1

Issue date: May 21, 2012


Popular posts from this blog

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.

Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 

No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…

More spending on new hospitals and new beds? Nope

Hospital funding:  There is something off about the provincial government's Budget claims on hospital capital funding (funding to build and renovate hospital beds and facilities).   

For what it is worth (which is not that much, given the long time frame the government cites), the province claims it will increase hospital capital spending over the next 10 years from $11 billion to $20 billion – or on average to about $2 billion per year.  But, this is just a notional increase from the previous announcement of future hospital capital spending. 

Moreover, even if we did take this as a serious promise and not just a wisp of smoke, the government's own reports shows they have actually funded hospital infrastructure about $3 billion a year over the 2011/12-2015/16 period.

So this “increase” is really a decrease from past actual spending. Even last year's (2016-17) hospital capital funding increase was reported in this Budget at $2.3 billion - i.e. about 15% more than they have ann…