In the four decades since President Richard Nixon officially threw the federal government's weight behind the concept of HMOs, Kaiser has shed its early growing pains and stigma, rising to become a national model for health care reform. Today, Kaiser reports that it commands 43 percent of the privately paid insurance commercial market in Sacramento, more than any other health care insurer. In the greater Sacramento four-county region, Kaiser claims 30 percent of the market. Kaiser operates 35 hospitals and boasts 5.5 million Californians as its commercial customers, collecting $23.3 billion in premiums annually, according to a Citi Investment Research analysis. That analysis concluded that the nonprofit company has captured 40 percent of the state's commercial and individual markets, more than any competitor.