AHIP Opposes Senate Health Care Bill
In a move that came as little surprise, the health insurance industry’s lead lobbying group has come out against the Senate’s health care reform plan.“This proposal encourages people to wait until they are sick to purchase coverage, which will significantly drive up costs for those who are currently insured,— Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, said in a statement Thursday. “The legislation also imposes rating rules that will raise the cost of coverage for millions of young families in more than 40 states.—Ignagni added that health insurers want to see health care reform enacted but that the plan unveiled Wednesday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) falls short of the industry’s goals.“The promise of health care reform is that it will provide all Americans coverage, allow them to keep their coverage if they like it, and bends the cost curve to put the system on a sustainable path,— Ignagni said.She indicated that her industry planned to continue its lobbying campaign to shape the legislation. “We believe that these issues can be addressed and improved to achieve these goals, and we will continue to work with policymakers toward that end,— she added.AHIP’s issues with the Senate bill include new fees and taxes on health care plans and cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. The group made similar comments when the House passed its reform bill earlier this month.“This proposal encourages people to wait until they are sick to purchase coverage, which will significantly drive up costs for those who are currently insured,— the group said in a Nov. 7 statement about the House bill.