Health-Care Reform Holds 'Bonanza' for Insurers

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 24, 2009 4:24 AM CDT
President Barack Obama listens to a question during the Organizing for America National Health Care Forum at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington last week.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – Regardless of how health-care reform eventually shakes out, one industry will likely reap a windfall: health insurance companies, reports the Los Angeles Times. All the leading overhaul proposals would require all citizens to have health insurance, which would guarantee tens of millions of new customers. "It's a bonanza," said a former insurance  executive now tracking the legislation for a consulting group. Despite any public grumbling, industry leaders actually have one word in mind: "Hallelujah!" he added.

"The insurers are going to do quite well," said a health policy analyst. "They are going to have this very stable pool, people getting subsidies to help them buy coverage and they'll be paid the full costs of the benefits." The insurers' likely success  is attributable to multi-million-dollar pit-bull lobbying, say observers. The one proposal that might have dented profits—a public insurance option—appears to be fading in the wake of an all-out lobbying onslaught.