Washington, DC - Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), released the following statement today on House passage of H.R. 3962.
"Health plans strongly support comprehensive health care reform, and we have contributed to this discussion by proposing a complete overhaul of how health insurance is provided. Earlier this year, we proposed guaranteed coverage, elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions, no longer basing premiums on a person's health status or gender, and an effective personal coverage requirement to get everyone covered. We also have proposed far-reaching administrative simplification reforms that will improve efficiency, reduce costs, and free up time for physicians to focus on patient care.
"The current House legislation fails to bend the health care cost curve and breaks the promise that those who like their current coverage can keep it. A new government-run plan will cause millions to lose their existing coverage and draconian Medicare Advantage cuts will force millions of seniors out of the program entirely.
"This bill imposes inflexible mandates before getting everyone covered and new regulations that duplicate what is already in place at the state level. Many of these reforms begin in 2010 after employees have already chosen their plans and contracts have been negotiated. The result will be increased costs and massive disruptions in the quality coverage individuals and families rely on today.
"Recent polls have shown that Americans are increasingly concerned about the impact of rising health care costs. Yet the current health care reform discussion has, until recently, ignored the cost issue. Without real and effective measures to bend the cost curve, families and employers will not be able to afford coverage and health care costs will rise at a rate much faster than the overall economy is able to sustain.
"Health plans will continue to advocate for bipartisan reforms that cover everyone, improve quality, and make health care coverage more affordable."