The health care system isn't healthy. There's no denying it. A system that was designed to make you feel better often just makes things worse. Costs are out of control, access is inconsistent, quality is too variable and the entire process has become unwieldy.
Every day, more Americans are added to the rolls of the uninsured. This is an epidemic and it's time we found a cure.
At UnitedHealthcare, we are committed to improving the health care system. We aim to take what's wrong and make it right.
> Simplifying everything and eliminating red tape.
> Ensuring access to the right care anywhere in the U.S.
> Empowering you to make better decisions about your health 24/7.
> Providing information to doctors to better support people.
> Rewarding first-rate physicians for first-rate medicine.
All while making your health care more affordable.
Will all this be simple? No. Simple doesn't mean simple-minded. Sometimes simple means ingenious. Sometimes it means revolutionary. And no one is better prepared to lead this revolution with you than the strongest, most commited health care company in the nation. Simpler process, smarter solutions, better results for you.
UnitedHealthcare Healing health care. Together.
On one hand, the advertisement's statement of the problem in the first two paragraphs is hard to argue with, although it did leave out demoralized health care professionals as one of the primary manifestations of the problem.
The rest might be barely credible if UnitedHealth were a brand-new company.
Instead, it is a company that has been around a long time, and there are plenty of reasons to think that up to now it has been part of the problem, not the solution. UnitedHealth's claims about affordable health care are particularly suspect.
For example, we have discussed the amazingly generous compensation awarded to UnitedHealth's previous CEO, Dr William McGuire, at a time when the company's mission statement already included the goal of "making health care more affordable." Later, we discussed how McGuire had become more than a billionaire, at least on paper, due to the value of the stock options the grateful company bestowed upon him, while the company pursued an ever more concentrated health insurance market. Then it turned out that these stock options were back-dated (see post here), and McGuire was eventually forced to resign (see post here). Meanwhile, it turned out there have been allegations of conflicts of interest affecting the UnitedHealth board, and that at least one of the members of the board's compensation committee. Note that one member of that committee who had been most gushing in her support of McGuire and his outsized compensation was also the Dean of a major US nursing school (see post here).
Of course, McGuire has left, and so it's possible that UnitedHealth has changed its ways. But I should note that in the last few days, the American Medical Association is trying to block UnitedHealth's acquisition of Sierra Health Services Inc., charging that the acquisition would give UnitedHealth a near monopoly in the state of Nevada (see AP story via the Houston Chronicle); and here in Rhode Island, UnitedHealth is being criticized for trying to transfer a big chunk of profits out of state, given that it already spends less of its total revenue on actual health care than is typical (see story in the Providence Journal).
Meanwhile, beware of full-page advertisements bearing hype, much less vividly red advertisements touting revolution.