Health insurance companies are gouging consumers while taking millions of dollars from the federal government each year. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             Health insurance companies are gouging consumers while taking millions of dollars from the federal government every year. All right. This was supposed to be a program, ACA, right? The purpose of the ACA was to make health insurance more affordable. So the government starts pouring money. Here, take, take, take billions of dollars. Take billions of dollars. And oh, by the way, in addition to the billions of dollars, we’re gonna give you some subsidies too. It wasn’t just the billions of dollars they put in. They, they said, we’re also going to give you subsidies. What did the corporate, what did the corporate freaks do with that?

Farron Cousins:                  They raised the prices on everybody else buying health insurance. And we’re talking about $800 million that is about to be given to these insurance companies. That’s not even including the billions they’ve already gotten.

Mike Papantonio:             Oh, they’ve already, they already have billions.

Farron Cousins:                  So there’s a plan right now saying, we’re gonna give you another $800 million.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  In addition to your subsidies, in addition to your tax breaks, in addition to all the special loopholes. All you gotta do is keep providing health insurance for low income Americans.

Mike Papantonio:             Truthfully, it was a good idea. It was a great idea until corporate sociopaths got involved with it. What’s your prediction when we give them 800, 800 more million dollars? What are they gonna do with it?

Farron Cousins:                  They’re, they’re gonna continue to raise prices on us because they can. There’s no controls in any of this.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah, yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And, and, and look, these companies, we could be spending $800 million or $80 billion on providing health insurance for everybody in this country. But instead we’re taking that money and we’re just giving it to private insurance that continues to screw us over.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  We keep being told Medicare for All is too expensive. No, this is too expensive to continue.

Mike Papantonio:             Doesn’t the, doesn’t somebody sit ’em down in a room and say, here’s the deal. We have the right to regulate you and we will regulate you. Right now as high as 40%, 40% of all the profit these people are making is coming from the US government, taxpayers. And all we asked in return was, you make this available for people who can’t afford health insurance. But again, you get the sociopath corporate involved and there are no rules. And so somebody has to say, yeah, there are. They have to walk into a room and say, here are the new rules. I’m the new sheriff and here’s the new regulations.

Farron Cousins:                  But people have to understand too, okay, you get your paycheck, you see that your health insurance comes out of it. You’re also paying your tax for Medicare.

Mike Papantonio:             Right.

Farron Cousins:                  So you’re paying for other people’s insurance there. And then as you said, 40% of the insurance company’s profit is coming from tax dollars. So you’re paying for three different kinds of health insurance.

Mike Papantonio:             Right, right.

Farron Cousins:                  Why can’t we just put it towards universal healthcare? Free up the system, get these corporate price gougers outta here for good and, and be happy like the rest of the world.

Mike Papantonio:             Was I wrong that Biden promised to create a public health insurance option?

Farron Cousins:                  He was wishy-washy on it. It was back and forth.

Mike Papantonio:             Did he ever make the promise?

Farron Cousins:                  I, I don’t know if he ever actually said I am or if he was against it. I know we had, you know, Bernie and Warren.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Oh, Bernie was very strong on it.

Farron Cousins:                  That, that were all for it.

Mike Papantonio:             And so was Warren. Warren said, yeah, this is what we need to do. All right, well.

Farron Cousins:                  And we’re left with this mess.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.