If you made it through the headline without bile rising in your throat, you’ve already done better than me.

Just a short post today, pros, because I’ll need to spend some serious meditation time getting over news I read this morning from Health Care for America Now that shows last year (deep cleansing breath) executives and shareholders of the five largest health insurers – Aetna, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth and WellPoint – posted combined profits of $12.2 billion, up 56% from 2008.  Cigna was particularly flush, with profit increases of 346%!

As if that weren’t enough, the huge profits were enough to break records. That’s right – as you struggled to keep up with costs and even made the tough decision to shift greater costs to already recession-strapped workers, health insurance carriers enjoyed their BEST YEAR EVER.

Feeling the bile yet? For those of you who have greater intestinal fortitude than I (or have been around long enough to be hardened toward getting this kind of news annually), click here to read HCAN’s full report.

Then comment and let the fur fly. Maybe a few brave insurer reps could let us know why carriers continue to play semantics with tired lines like, “Our profit margins actually are quite low.”

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