It is going to be quite interesting to see how long Buttigieg survives in the presidential race (or continues to have a political career at all) now that he’s released the names of his clients at the evil empire of corporate consulting and progressive boogeyman, McKinsey & Co.
Buttigieg was always a bit of a laughable candidate, kind of like Beto 2.0. He’s the mayor of a city about the same size of the small beach town we live in, and he suddenly wants to be leader of the free world. From debating landscape designs for street medians to dealing with Iran. Good times.
He’s also the first presidential candidate that goes around bragging about his six-figure student loan debt and low (negative?) net worth. If it weren’t for the fact that he’s sharing the stage with someone who pretended to be a person of color for 70 years, a senator who ate a salad with her plastic hair comb to shame a staffer for not bringing her a fork, an old dude who likes to sniff women’s hair, and a billionaire who wears the same plaid tie every day as a matter of principle, he’d seem like the strangest candidate up there.
The Atlantic was quick out the gate tonight with a fawning article trying to put lipstick on the McKinsey pig. But it’s not going to work. In fact, knowing the clients he worked with, Buttigieg is now probably the most unelectable candidate of the entire batshit lot, including Fauxcahontas.
Top on his list is Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Michigan. In the Atlantic piece, Buttigieg explains that his work for the company was just “math.” As if math in financial analysis is some abstraction like the blackboard scratching of theoretical physicists, which may or may not have import in the real world. He worked on nebulous things like “efficiency” and “cutting costs.” Hmm, what costs organizations money? Especially a health insurer? Oh, right, jobs and people who make heavy claims on their insurance. What’s another term for what those people have? Oh right, pre-existing conditions. And how do you get an insurer to have more money on hand? Oh, right, by jacking up premiums. Do you think that is what Buttigieg’s team recommended?
The work of Buttigieg’s team at McKinsey was actually the subject of a report by the Michigan Attorney General, which you can see here: Profits Over People: The Drive to Privatize and Destroy the Social Mission of Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
Remember that this guy is running on fixing health care policy. It’s literally the only public policy issue that he has a track record in for voters to consider, and that track record was brutal for ordinary people in a state struggling with the catastrophic loss of its manufacturing industry.
A former (reformed?) health care executive went on the following rant about what McKinsey did with Blue Cross and Blue Shield:
BREAKING: As a former corporate exec who worked with McKinsey, I may be able to shed light on one of @petebuttigieg’s unnamed McKinsey clients, and why it’s very significant in this campaign.
(Note: I have not endorsed anyone in this race, nor do I intend to) 1/13
When I was a health insurance exec, my CFO had McKinsey on retainer. Every year or so, especially when one division or another wasn’t making enough profit, McKinsey would be brought in to “assess” current operations. (2/13)
Those of us who knew about McKinsey’s involvement at our insurance corporation knew it would lead to “cost cutting.” That’s consultant talk for laying off workers, offshoring, and hiking rates. The McKinsey efforts would have code names because it had to be kept secret. (3/13)
Now what does this have to do with @petebuttigieg? In his description of his McKinsey work, he says he worked in Michigan at a “health insurance provider… performing analytical work… identifying savings in administration and overhead costs.” 4/13
To an old health insurance exec, those are code words that translate roughly to cutting costs through layoffs, restructuring, and potentially denying health coverage to those in need. 5/13
Important: You’ll notice @petebuttigieg describes his McKinsey insurance client as “a nonprofit” insurer. So that means it was a different kind of company, right? No. “Nonprofit” insurers behave just like “for-profits.” In fact, you might not be able to tell them apart (6/13)
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a “non-profit” health insurer, that fits the description of the @petebuttigieg client. Its financials in 2007 were not great, which is when execs call in firms like McKinsey to come up with tactics to right the ship. 7/13
Based on this article below, BCBS laid off hundreds of people and increased premiums dramatically not long after. Those premium increases likely led to a lot of people losing their insurance. (8/13)
If indeed the @petebuttigieg client was Blue Cross, this report by the Attorney General of Michigan in 2007 has a lot to offer. The title: “Profits over People: The Drive to Privatize and Destroy the Social Mission of Blue Cross and Blue Shield” (9/13)
If it wasn’t Blue Cross, it would have to be another big insurer to be able to afford McKinsey. They don’t come cheap. As I recall, my company paid them a monthly retainer of $50K. And paid more for big special projects with code names. (10/13)
Why is this relevant to 2020? I’ll leave analysis of @petebuttigieg’s transparency, or his potential role in rate hikes and layoffs, to political experts. What I can speak to is how this experience might lead him to defend and protect health insurance companies now. (11/13)
Pete is fighting to preserve the role & profits of health insurance companies, spending huge sums on ads slamming plans to rein them in. I’ll be watching to see if my former insurance colleagues send him big campaign checks. He’s probably one of their favorite candidates (12/13)
As I know firsthand, insurers intentionally deny coverage to Americans, to hoard their profits. The result is people dying and millions in medical bankruptcy. Pete’s plan protects and preserves this very system. Now we may know why. (13/13)
This is just one of his clients. Crikey.
I’ve joked for a while that the Democratic primary has been like the children’s song… “take one down, pass it around.” There is no person who clearly deserves to be a front-runner, so the electorate keeps trying available candidates on for size. Usually the momentum of the current darling lasts for a few weeks, but fear Buttigieg has now been passed around. This was faster than folks discovering that Kamala Harris put many undeserving people in prison. (They didn’t even get to the crime lab that falsified data to get convictions before her candidacy was effectively over.)