Affordable Care Act has been a boon for UnitedHealth

As Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group continues to post impressive numbers--the insurer's Q2 revenues grew 11 percent year-over-year to exceed $36 billion--some are critical of the insurer's success.

"You don't make those kinds of numbers without denying people the help they need," Minnesota state Sen. John Marty, a member of the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, says in a recent City Pages article.

Despite the current consolidation through the industry, the insurer's earnings suggest that it will continue to come out on top regardless of whether it chooses to merge with another insurer.

On the other hand, UnitedHealth also seems to have more than just profits it mind: It has expanded into the patient care business with the goal of cutting overall costs, FierceHealthPayer has reported. What's more, with its $12.8 billion acqusition of pharmacy benefit management services company Catamaran Corp., UnitedHealth plans to create a next-generation pharmacy care business that focuses on the needs of members.

Still, because insurers were able to help negotiate certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act, UnitedHealth has kept Washington happy by dishing out nearly $27 million to politicians, political parties, political action committees and lobbyists between 2007 and 2012, notes the City Pages article. 

And when Healthcare.gov ran into technical issues, the Obama administration hired Optum--a subsidary of UnitedHealth which is now the biggest independent provider of urgent care in the country--to fix the issues, according to the article. 

For more:
- here's the City Pages article

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