For me, what’s striking about the presidential election campaign debates is how nasty even the Republican candidates generally are to health insurance companies and other financial services companies.
Dr. Ben Carson, who may well have wrestled with health insurance companies over reimbursement for neurosurgery claims, avoided a chance to slam financial services company executives on Feb. 13, during a Republican debate in South Carolina.
When a moderator asked Carson whether it’s acceptable for federal regulators to try to change financial services companies’ ways by requiring an investment company to pay a $3.2 billion over mortgage crisis-related allegations, rather than putting more executives in jail, Carson said, “We’ve got all these governments, and all they’re doing is running around looking for people to fine. … I think what we really need to do is start trimming the regulatory agencies rather than going after the people who are trying to increase the economic viability of our society.”
Marco Rubio, in contrast, has talked repeatedly about Congress putting a “bailout fund” for health insurers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
During a debate on Feb. 25, in Houston, Donald Trump said that, when he gets rid of PPACA, he will still require health insurers to cover people with preexisting conditions. “The insurance companies are making a fortune on every single thing they do,” Trump said. “Right now they’re making a fortune.”
During the same debate, Ted Cruz criticized Trump for agreeing with “Barack Obama on the Wall Street bailout.”
Over on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is campaigning for a single-payer health care system. Sanders has helped make the brand “Goldman Sachs” synonymous with “Spawn of Satan,” and has dragged Hillary Clinton into a competition over who can sound toughest about health insurers and Wall Street.
And, of course, everyone hates the drug companies.
Meanwhile, as the candidates are hurling mud, Wall Street, the health insurers and the drug companies are starting the process of eliminating hepatitis C.