Aetna CEO wants public discussion of single-payer healthcare coverage

❝ The chief executive of one of the country’s largest health insurance companies says he is open to having a single-payer debate….“Single-payer, I think we should have that debate as a nation,” Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini said…

❝ Bertolini spoke to a private meeting where Aetna employees could ask questions of their chief executive. A partial video of his remarks provided to Vox includes Bertolini responding to a question about single-payer health care.

“In the news media, it is reporting that the Republican health plan is paving the way to a single-payer system,” an Aetna employee asks Bertolini. “What are your thoughts on that, and how would it impact Aetna?”

This was his response:

Single-payer, I think we should have that debate as a nation. But let me remind everybody that Aetna was the first financial intermediary for Medicare. We cut the first check for Medicare in 1965 to Hartford Hospital for $517.57.

❝ The government doesn’t administer anything. the first thing they’ve ever tried to administer in social programs was the ACA, and that didn’t go so well. So the industry has always been the back room for government. If the government wants to pay all the bills, and employers want to stop offering coverage, and we can be there in a public private partnership to do the work we do today with Medicare, and with Medicaid at every state level, we run the Medicaid programs for them, then let’s have that conversation.

But if we want to turn it all over to the government to run, is the government really the right place to run all this stuff? And that’s the debate that needs to be had. They could finance it, and if there is one financer, and you could call that single-payer. …

I think it’s hilarious that he ignores federal administration of SSA and Medicare. Both of which have administration costs less than 10-25% of typical American private insurance companies.

❝ What Bertolini seems open to is a version of single-payer where the federal government would contract out certain functions private companies, such as Aetna. These insurers would, in his own words, become a “back room for government.”

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Priest helps Mafia steal millions from funds to aid migrants

❝ Italian authorities on Monday arrested 68 people, including a priest and the head of a huge Catholic volunteer group, “Mercy,” and accused them of being in cahoots with a major mafia clan that allegedly skimmed millions in public funds destined for asylum-seekers at a welcome center in southern Italy.

Announcing the arrests, an incredulous Carabinieri Gen. Giuseppe Governale summarized the scam: “The welcome center and ‘Mercy’ were the ATMs of the mafia.”

❝ Investigators said the Arena clan of the Calabrian ’ndrangheta mob had secured a lock on servicing the Isola di Capo Rizzuto migrant center for the past decade, thanks in part to its links to “Mercy” and its regional head, Leonardo Sacco.

❝ Sacco is a well-connected Italian, and his arrest took on broader implications given the number of politicians linked to him. Even Pope Francis has been photographed with him. The Calabrian holding center is one of Italy’s largest, and “Mercy” is a major national organization that runs migrant centers and provides other volunteer services around the country…

❝ Police said the Rev. Edoardo Scordio, a parish priest affiliated with “Mercy,” was the “organizer of a true system of exploitation of public funds destined for the migrant emergency.”

Scordio in 2007 pocketed 132,000 euros for his spiritual services that he offered the refugees, police said in a statement.

At least he will be forgiven, eh?

A Guide to Presidential Behavior


Yes, Snopes says this is Fake News. Consider it humorous possible bar-talk!

❝ It wasn’t so long ago that Republicans in Congress cared about how a president comported himself in office. They cared a lot! The president is, after all, commander in chief of the armed forces, steward of the most powerful nation on earth, role model for America’s children — and he should act at all times with the dignity his station demands…

❝ Now seems like a good moment to update the standards. What do Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders think a president may say or do and still deserve their enthusiastic support? We offer this handy reference list in hopes of protecting them from charges of hypocrisy in the future…

If you are the president, you may freely:

❝ • attack private citizens on Twitter…

• refuse to take responsibility for military actions gone awry

• fire the F.B.I. chief in the middle of his expanding investigation into your campaign and your associates

• accuse a former president, without evidence, of an impeachable offense

• employ top aides with financial and other connections to a hostile foreign power…

• call the media “the enemy of the American people”…

• claim, without evidence, that millions of people voted illegally…

• promote family businesses on federal government websites

And on and on and on and on…RTFA for the complete list.

The authors are always looking for more suggestions BTW. 🙂