It is estimated that healthcare expenditures in the United States have grown to twenty percent of GDP. In 2022, the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicated that U.S. GDP had grown to $25.46 trillion (https://www.bea.gov/news/2023/gross-domestic-product-fourth-quarter-and-year-2022). Hence, we can assume that in 2022, approximately $5 trillion was expended for U.S. healthcare.
In the taxpayer funded, privatized, medical care system in the United States, the growth of corporations with revenues from Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, and other tax subsidized healthcare (e.g., employer provided health insurance) has been astounding. The size and number of healthcare related corporations listed on the Fortune 500 top 30 in 2020 compared to 2000 is a reflection of the dominance and power of companies such as UnitedHealth, CVS, McKesson, Cardinal Health, and others appearing in the 2022 Fortune 500 top 30.
As the table below indicates, absolutely no healthcare related corporation was ranked among the top 30 corporations in revenue in 2000. In a mere two decades, nine of the 30 largest U.S. companies were in some facet of the medical/healthcare sector. Note the following corporations in the table and their Fortune 500 2022 ranking: CVS Health (4), UnitedHealth Group (5), McKesson (9), Amerisource Bergen (10), Cigna (12), Cardinal Health (15), Walgreen/Boots Alliance (18), Elevance Health (20), Centene Corporation (26).
Given the money in politics and decreasing capacity of government agencies to monitor and hold corporate behemoths accountable, the growth of health/medical related enterprises should be alarming. These are not capitalist enterprises. Rather, they are government sponsored enterprises much like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and should be regulated as such.
Furthermore, money is power and much of the “inside the Washington, D.C. beltway” activity related to studies, commissions, and general policymaking involving academics and other professionals has been rigged through power politics to insure the perpetuation and preservation of the participants – hence, preservation of the status quo. Let’s take the nonprofit Better Medicare Alliance as an example. This front group has roped in scholars, professional associations, and other duped entities in a cooperative effort to sell Medicare Advantage to the public on behalf of the industry.
Currently, the Biden Administration is attempting to reduce Medicare Advantage billing fraud that will save the Medicare Trust Fund billions. That legitimate and laudable effort on the President’s part was attacked in an ad during the last Super Bowl. The ad was paid for by Better Medicare Alliance. Check out this outfit’s “ally list” and its list of “scholars.” Conflicts of interest involving scholarship, corporate board service, and coopting of scientific institutions by superrich foundations with Wall Street leaning board members should be exposed along with a network of think tanks presenting a charade for the purpose of enhancing revenue from government programs.
|FORTUNE 500 RANKINGS: 2000 & 2022|
|4||Ford Motor Co||16.3||4||CVS Health||292.1|
|5||General Electric||11.2||5||UnitedHealth Group||287.6|
|7||Citigroup Inc||8.2||7||Berkshire Hathaway||276.1|
|9||Phillip Morris Inc||6.2||9||McKesson||238.2|
|10||The Boeing Company||5.8||10||AmerisourceBergen||214.0|
|11||Bank of America||5.1||11||Costco||195.9|
|14||The Kroger Co||4.5||14||Microsoft||168.1|
|15||State Farm Insurance||4.4||15||Cardinal Health||162.5|
|16||Sears, Roebuck, & Co||4.1||16||Chevron||162.5|
|19||Teachers Insurance & Annuity||3.9||19||Marathon Petroleum||141.0|
|20||Compaq Computers||3.8||20||Elevance Health||138.6|
|22||Lucent||3.8||22||Ford Motor Co||136.3|
|23||Procter & Gamble||3.7||23||Verizon||133.6|
|24||Hewlett-Packard||3.7||24||J.P. Morgan Chase||127.2|
|25||MCI World Com||3.7||25||General Motors||127.0|
|30||Mogan Stanley Dean Witter||3.4||30||Valero Energy||108.3|