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AHA July 15, 2021
Rick Pollack

Today UnitedHealth Group announced a jaw-dropping $6 billion in earnings in a single quarter. But not enough has been said about a big contributor to these profits: not paying for health care services. During the same quarter last year the company noted its $9.2 billion in profit was due in part to “broad-based deferral of care.” What that means in real-life: profit was earned off missed childhood vaccinations, reduced access to opioid misuse treatment and avoided emergency care for cardiac arrest. But even this isn’t the full story. 

Throughout the course of the pandemic, United pursued a number of changes to its policies to further restrict patients’ coverage. United didn’t just profit from avoided care, it actively sought to scale…

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