Tales from the Trail

Did health insurance industry report backfire?

October 15, 2009

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.

Democratic aides say support for a strong public health plan to compete with insurers is gaining strength in the House which is weighing three versions of the public option. USA/

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?

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Natalie Behring (protester at HMO led away by police)

Comments
11 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

It’s only in the biased eyes of the Democrats in Congress, and their leadership, that the insurance industry report backfired.

How in the world could Price Waterhouse to a complete job of analysing the costs of the vaporware health care program, when all that exists are general “conceptual language” of what it is and what it will do?

Obama has said many times to union groups and Democrat gatherings that he wants a single payer system, while at the same time, he mouths the concept that ‘if you have private insurance that you are happy with, you can keep it.’

Yeah, right. Every time a change is made in a private plan, the individual is pushed more toward accepting the public option in the House plan, which has that public option buried as a ‘co-op’ agreement.

As for the effect of subsidies to reduce premiums, just where does that money come from? The person who gets a subsidy doesn’t get it from government, because ‘government’ doesn’t create ANY wealth. The government steals that money in the form of increased taxes from some OTHER person. As a result, subsidies should not be considered as reducing the cost to the citizenry, as any collection and dissemination of tax dollars is a ‘negative sum’ game. Dollars from one pocket go into another pocket, with a chunk of the ‘take’ disappering into the government maw as increases in the size of government. The economy as a whole suffers by throwing tax dollars down the black hole of government.

Posted by Stan Penkala | Report as abusive
 

Without a strong public option, available to all Americans, there is no health care reform. The corporate ‘health care’ system is responsible for the higher infant mortality rate, and shorter overall lifespans in the US. This is an industry we can live without.

A business model that necessitates the needless deaths of infants and of the elderly, is a business model no moral individual can tolerate the existence of.

Posted by AC | Report as abusive
 

Since Obama and the Democrats hate the insurance companies so much, why don’t they start saving the taxpayers money and opt-out of their federal insurance plans. After all, Insurance companies and what they sell are bad in the eyes of Obama and the Democrats.

They claim its about choice and competition when everyone knows its about government control. Mandating that private citizens puchase insurance or they will be fined/taxed/penalized?

Not to mention that the CBO has shot holes in every one of Obama’s claims. Deficit neutral…wrong… will cover everyone…wrong…won’t take benefits away from seniors…wrong and the granddaddy of all lies…the government will save us money. Laughing so hard at that claim.

 

“He is a mountain of proposals, a mountain of failures; but still a mountain. And a mountain is always romatic.”
This quote is from G.K. Chesterton concerning Neville Chamberlain, the former prime minister of Great Britian. We may have someone in the White House who fits the same description.

Posted by DONNIS SHORT | Report as abusive
 

A business model that necessitates the needless deaths of infants and of the elderly, is a business model no moral individual can tolerate the existence of.

AC please do a little homework.

America’s infant mortality rate is actually better than most, if not all, others when you use the same yardstick. Some countries do not count an infant if it falls below a given length or weight. We count all. We have great prenatal care that leads to more births, even for women who have illness, disease, or addiction which is passed on to the child who my die from complications.

Many countries have better longevity than we do, but don’t have fast food joints on every corner, their populations don’t smoke or drink as much as do Americans, and none have as many autos on the road as we do. Auto accidents are a significant cause of death is all age groups.

Do your homework and compare apples to apples.

A single payer plan may cause us to live longer because we could not afford cars, few could afford fast food, and the American diet would revert to more of a vegetarian one.

On the other hand we may not actually live longer, it just may fee like we were.

Posted by HH | Report as abusive
 

Do away their exemption!
Insurance companies are in bussiness to make profits, too much profits without any competitions.
They are in the positions to chose between life and death. I have doubt that they will choose life when big dollars signs are in front of them. Let Public Option has a chance to balancing out…….
DO AWAY THEIR EXEMPTION!!!!!

Posted by keith | Report as abusive
 

What’s fascinating is that for the Republican party, the sacred cow is insurance company profits, rather than the health of US citizens.

Posted by jp | Report as abusive
 

Hey, Scotty, my question to you is since John Boehner and the Republicans love the insurance companies so much, why don’t they start helping them make more money and opt-out of their federal insurance plans? After all, Insurance companies and what they sell represent “freedom” and “choice” in the eyes of the Republicans.

They claim its about choice and competition when everyone knows its about corporate profits and campaign contributions. Mandating that private citizens puchase insurance or they will be fined/taxed/penalized only guarantees those profits in perpetuity. Let’s see what 67 year old diabetic Mitch McConnell’s or 60 year old chain smoker John Boehner’s premiums would be. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $3000 per month, I’ll bet. Boehner probably couldn’t even buy coverage.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive
 

It’s a simple solution. Let the congressmen keep their insurance like the rest of us want to keep our insurance.

The best way to provide competition is to let the 1500 insurance providers in American to go across all state lines to offer their plans to everyone. That would be competition at it’s finest….in a free market to boot. The government wouldn’t need to get involved then.

Oh, but let’s forget that nifty little idea and go with this government option so it can be the one to provide “competition”…what a laugh.

We are being duped by this leftist administration and congress….the majority of people want nothing to do with their horrible plan…

Posted by TC | Report as abusive
 

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.

http://healthfreak2.wordpress.com/2009/1 0/22/a-brief-idea-on-health-insurance/

 

Mandating that private citizens puchase insurance or they will be fined/taxed/penalized only guarantees those profits in perpetuity. Let’s see what 67 year old diabetic Mitch McConnell’s or 40 year old chain smoker John Boehner’s premiums would be. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 per month

 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/