Nancy Pelosi said this the other day (emphasis added)
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.
In the past, other leftish pundits have been even more direct:
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.
I don't have time to redo the analysis, but for the third quarter 2008 (the last quarter of the dreaded Bush years that increased insurance profits so much) I looked up on Google Finance the profit margins of major health care insurers, providers, and HMO's. I am not sure who the Democrats would consider the real Satan of health insurance (ala ExxonMobil or Wal-Mart) but if I left a key company off you are welcome to suggest it in the comments. Anyway, 3Q08 profit margins were:
United Health Group: 4.56%
So, if you are a business owner (and that includes those of you who own equities, which are ownership shares), be very afraid. Look at your company or your favorite stockholding. If they have margins of 2.5% or more of revenues (and that includes just about every profitable company in America -- I think the industrial average is in the eights) then Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats consider your profits immorally high and they intend to gut you like a trout.
Update: OK, I had a bit of time to update numbers, so I took Cigna, which is the first on the list, and looked at their net profit margin over 4 years:
Hmm, not sure I see the profits increasing in the Bush years -- looks like they are going down to me. I would also observe that they never in the last four years even rise to average for a large American public company.