Is UnitedHealth Poised for a Turnaround After Q1?

Bernie Sanders is wrong about getting private insurers out of the healthcare system

UnitedHealth revenue grows with Medicare members, OptumHealth patients

Earnings from operations for the quarter were $4.8 billion, a 19% increase year-over-year, thanks to continued growth in the company's UnitedHealthcare and Optum subsidiaries.

Verma said that such plans effectively "strip people of their private health insurance" and instruct the government to "make decisions about everyone's health care".

"The wholesale disruption of American health care being discussed in some of these proposals would surely jeopardize the relationship people have with their doctors, destabilize the nation's health system, and limit the ability of clinicians to practice medicine at their best", he said. UnitedHealth is the nation's largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans, which are privately run versions of the federally funded Medicare coverage program for people aged 65 and over.

As a business, UnitedHealth is nearly as large as Medicare itself.

Despite its enormous size, the company has kept a relatively low profile with the wider public. Engaging in a political fight could turn it into a political target as Democrats look for winning issues.

The industry bellwether, which is the first health insurer to report quarterly results, also raised its full-year adjusted earnings forecast to between $14.50 and $14.75 per share from its prior view of $14.40 to $14.70 a share. The shares were down 3.7 percent to $221.67 at 11:03 a.m.in NY after the earnings call concluded. The sell-off has sent the S&P 500 Managed Care Index to its lowest level in almost a year, and managed-care stocks are now trading at a 15 percent discount to the broader market. A government-run system will replace personal health insurance offered through companies, that is the mainstay of policy for at least 160 million people. "And the inherent cost burden would surely have a severe impact on the economy and jobs - all without fundamentally increasing access to care", he added.

Four for the Democratic nomination of Sanders' fellow senators and rivals are set to sign on the upgraded medical care proposal from the Vermont independent Wednesday.

Sanders discussed his plans at Fox News town hall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on Monday night. There were cheers in the room as people raised their hands, and afterward Sanders posted a clip from the event, tweeting "raise your hand if you're sick and exhausted of your private health insurance company". Bernie Sanders tweeting last week, "Our message to Steve Nelson and UnitedHealthcare is simple: When we are in the White House your greed is going to end. I believe there's a lot more that can be done to reduce coverage gaps and ensure that every American has affordable health insurance coverage for vital care".

"At the exact same time", Shaheen says the Medicare for All idea has helped" reignite an desperately necessary debate about reaching universal health care coverage". But moderate proposals that would allow more Americans the option to buy into public health insurance programs like Medicare could benefit insurers by boosting their Medicare Advantage rolls.

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