Christine Stuart photo

Health care advocates called Aetna’s third-quarter profits scary Thursday in a protest outside its Hartford headquarters.

Dressed as Dracula, Dan Durso a Working Families party member, said just like Dracula sucked the blood out of his victims, Aetna is sucking the money out of our pockets. “Where is the need for profits in the health care industry?” he asked.

Aetna reported a profit of $496.7 million, or 95 cents a share, compared with earnings of $476.4 million, or 85 cents a share in the year-ago period.

But the increase in profits is a mixed bag for shareholders who also filed a class action lawsuit today claiming the insurer misrepresented the rise in amount of money spent on medical costs in 2005.

“For investors less money spent on medical costs means more money in their pocket,” Beverly Brakeman, executive director of Citizens for Economic Opportunity said. “For consumers, it’s the opposite, we want more of our health care dollar to go towards medical costs.”

Brakeman who has attend rallies outside the health care giant’s headquarters since the announcement of its first-quarter profits said “we’re trying to build momentum,” and “reduce the power of the insurance and business lobby.” She said if they’re successful in doing this, then it will be easier to enact some form of universal health care in the state.

Christine Stuart photo

Urania Petit, whose running for Hartford City Council on the Working Families Party ticket, said the City “cannot just wait around for our health care crisis to improve.” She said she knows firsthand how difficult the health insurance industry is to navigate. She said when her daughter was three years old she started loosing chunks of her hair, but when they went to the doctor he was reluctant to prescribe a medication he knew would work because the state insurance program she was on wouldn’t cover it. Petit said she refused to leave the office until the doctor prescribed the medication to help her daughter. The doctor finally prescribed the medication.