Nancy Pelosi called them "immoral". But by what standard is she measuring them? Certainly not based on the numbers.
Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th on the Fortune 500 list of top industries. As is typical, other health sectors did much better - drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10.
The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent.
HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That's a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers.
The star among the health insurance companies did, however, nose out Jack in the Box restaurants, which only achieved a 4 percent margin.
UnitedHealth Group, reporting third quarter results last week, saw fortunes improve. It managed a 5 percent profit margin on an 8 percent growth in revenue.
It's been higher in the past, but comparatively speaking, not as big a deal as Democrats have been making them out.
Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That's anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.
Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans.
Trim those profits, by undercutting them with a public option subsidised by you and me, and help put them out of business. Quite the Big Government way.
And Obama et. al. know this. They have all the same data the Associated Press has. And they're trying to pull one over on an unsuspecting public.
What we really need, based on the numbers, is socialized Tupperware! I mean, shouldn't fresh food and leftovers that last longer be the right of all Americans? Isn't fresh food more necessary than health care? And please, they're raking in 7.5% profit. The time is now to put all those evil Tupperware parties out of business.