Young People Face High Health Insurance Rates in Minneapolis

Minneapolis (July 6, 2005) - Twila Brase, president of Minnesota-based Citizens' Council on Health Care makes the following statement on learning that UnitedHealth Group will merge with PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.:

"Although executives at UnitedHealth Group claim that a merger with PacifiCare will 'make a broad range of health care services more affordable, more available and easier to use for people nationwide,' we beg to differ. Consolidation means control. More and more of the health care industry is being consolidated under the name of UnitedHealth Group. Furthermore, with the 2003 purchase of Golden Rule, and the 2004 purchase of Definity Health, and now the 2005 purchase of PacifiCare, consumer-driven health care is being consumed by managed care.

UnitedHealth Group has become the Pacman of the 21st century.

With 65 million people enrolled, UnitedHealth Group will control access to health care for approximately one-quarter of the American public. As a result, we expect UnitedHealth Group-and its highly paid executives-to increasingly control the look and feel of health care across the nation.

Too much power is ending up in the hands of one big player. The lives of patients-including many of the health plan's own stockholders-are at stake. The public should be alarmed, not assured."

Media Contact:

Twila Brase, President and Co-founder
Office: 651-646-8935