Did health insurance industry report backfire?
Support for a “strong public option” appears to be growing in the House of Representatives.
One of the reasons is that a health insurance industry report predicting higher premiums if Congress fails to enact a healthcare overhaul without a strong mandate for individuals to purchase coverage appears to have backfired.
The White House and congressional leaders blasted the report, written for America’s Health Insurance Plans, calling it misleading and flawed.
The report’s author, PricewaterhouseCoopers, acknowledged that it only took into account certain aspects of the bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee and omitted analyses of provisions, including government subsidies, that would lower premium costs.
Democratic leaders in the Senate are working to blend the Finance Committee bill, which has no public option, with a measure with a public option passed by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
They appear more determined than ever to stop insurers from raising premiums.
“More and more people are saying how do we make sure that we have affordable insurance, keep the insurance companies honest, if they are already telling us they are going to raise rates based on what we are doing,” said Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, who supports a new public insurance plan as part of the sweeping overhaul.
“We better have some way to hold them accountable,” she said.
Here is a copy of the report.
What do you think, did the insurance industry report backfire?
Photo credit: Reuters/Natalie Behring (protester at HMO led away by police)