Frequent readers know I almost never call statements "a lie." I try to take the position that reasonable people can disagree without either lying. I hate all the "Lying liars and the lies they tell their lying supporters" type books.
But I simply can find no other way to explain this statement:
"There isn't anything we could do to satisfy them in this health care bill. Nothing," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) 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."
I have written about this any number of times, but Carpe Diem also has the numbers at the link - health care insurers are well below average both in profit margin and return on capital, the two most common measures of profitability. For the last couple of years, most large health care companies have made less than 5% return on sales.
The only other explanation is the neither the House Majority Leader, his staff, President Obama, or Nancy Pelosi and her staff (all of whom have echoed this same meme) have never once spent the 12 seconds going to Google finance or the Wall Street Journal to look the number up.
I'm very pleased that our Chair of our Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and member of the leadership will be talking too about the immoral profits being made by the insurance industry and how those profits have increased in the Bush years. We all believe in the profit motive; we all want to reward success. But having that success come at the expense of America's working families "” have that success come by withholding care, when a person becomes ill, is just not right and we're going to take this issue in a new direction.
Liberal pundit Kevin Drum, who really should know enough to look it up, once said:
It means the health insurance industry is scared that we might actually do something in 2009 and they want to be seen as something other than completely obstructionist. That means only one thing: they've shown fear, and now it's time to bore in for the kill and gut them like trouts. Let's get to it.