Insurance industry attacks healthcare legislation

Unwilling to accept the new momentum behind healthcare legislation lying down, the health insurance industry launched a new attack against the healthcare legislation drafted by the Senate Finance Committee, which will be voted on Tuesday.

America's Health Insurance Plans, a lobby for the industry, said Sunday that the legislation will drive up premiums rather than make coverage more affordable. The lobby is using the findings of their commissioned report from accounting powerhouse PriceWaterHouseCoopers as ammunition for their claims. Senate Democrats dispute the findings and cite tax credits and lower administrative costs as important cost reducing factors. In addition, people will be able to keep their current health insurance plans unchanged if they wish--a move Senate Democrats claim ensures continued choice including that of top-shelf insurance plans.

The PriceWatersHouseCoopers report says that the cost of the average family coverage will rise from the current $12,300 to $18,400 in 2016 under current law, and it will rise to $21,300 if the Senate bill is adopted. The report also says the cost of individual coverage, currently at $4,600, will cost an average of $6,900 in 2016 under current law and $7,900 if the bill is passed.

The Democrats' swift counter-attack primarily focused on discrediting the report on the grounds that it was commissioned and paid for by the health insurance industry. Scott Mulhauser, a spokesman for Democrats on the Finance Committee, said, "This report is untrue, disingenuous and bought and paid for by the same health insurance companies that have been gouging consumers for too long..."

For more:
- read the New York Times article

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