The health insurance industry issued a report that has Democrats fuming, finally. Will it be enough to set Congress on fire for reform?
Insurance companies aren’t playing nice any more.
Their message that health care legislation will drive up premiums for people who already have coverage comes as a warning shot at a key point in the debate and threatens President Obama’s top domestic priority.
Democrats and their allies scrambled on Monday to knock down a new industry-funded study forecasting that Senate legislation, over time, will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical policy. “Distorted and flawed,” said White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass. “Fundamentally dishonest,” said AARP’s policy strategist, John Rother. “A hatchet job,” said a spokesman for Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).
But the health insurance industry’s top lobbyist in Washington stood her ground. In a call with reporters, Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, pointedly refused to rule out attack ads on TV featuring the study, though she said she believed the industry’s concerns could be amicably addressed.
At the heart of the industry’s complaint is a decision by lawmakers to weaken the requirement that millions more Americans get coverage. Since the legislation would ban insurance companies from denying coverage on account of poor health, many people will wait to sign up until they get sick, the industry says. And that will drive up costs.
The first sentence of this article is absurd, “Insurance companies aren’t playing nice any more.”
When have the insurance companies ever played nice? It’s not about playing nice. It’s not about health insurance profits. It’s about people’s lives against an industry’s quest for obscene profits.
The good news today is that GOP Senator Olympia Snowe says she will support the reform bill currently in the Senate Finance Committee. The rest of the GOP and the Conservadems need to jump on board also.
Look, the New Deal was passed because the rich got it. They understood that a 90% tax rate on upper income brackets was good for everyone in the economy, including the rich! Do the rich really want to see the United States return to a Gilded Age with tent cities popping up in ever suburb?
I’ve said it before: the for-profit health insurance industry should be illegal. The purpose of the industry is to make a profit, an obscene profit.
Congress needs to finally feel the fire. Right now it’s burning us alive.