Photo: AP

Brace yourselves, sit down, make a strong drink, etc: The CEO of the largest health insurer in the United States, UnitedHealth Group, thinks Medicare for All is a bad idea.

Am I fucking serious? Can you believe it? This guy, whose business would be rendered almost entirely irrelevant if not totally destroyed if Medicare for All passes, thinks Medicare for All..................is bad.

According to the Hill, UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann said on a conference call today that Medicare for All would entail “wholesale disruption of American health care [that] 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.” Surely! Surely, because I have no real evidence for this, but I’d like to make it sound like I do, and we all agree that I do!

Wichmann—who earned $17.4 million last year—was also very certain of what would happen to the economy, saying the bill would “surely have a severe impact on the economy and jobs — all without fundamentally increasing access to care.”

The idea that giving everybody free health insurance that every doctor accepted wouldn’t increase access to care, despite the fact that 64 percent of Americans delay care because of financial concerns, is ludicrous. But the real important question is: who cares what this guy thinks? Why would Mr. UnitedHealth be the person best placed to tell us honestly whether his company should continue to exist or not? Why, indeed, would he know what would happen to the economy or jobs?

Advertisement

He’s not an economist, he’s a guy who makes 298 times what his employees make. I don’t care what he thinks. Ask literally anyone else. Ask a basket of fruit and you’d get a more relevant answer.