Commission a report that says the Senate Finance Committee’s bill will add $1,700 a year to the cost of family health insurance coverage, which could soar to $26,000 a year by 2019?
Better duck, ‘cuz senators will come and get you!
MyWay News reports that within days of the release of that Oct. 11 report, prepared by PriceWaterhouseCooper at the request of the industry group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the Senate Judiciary Committee went into high gear to figure out how to punish the industry.
And today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Judiciary Committee Charman plan to announce the results of those confabs today: We’re gonna strip health insurers of their exemption from federal antitrust laws. That will mean increased federal regulation–if the senators get lucky– plus lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits brought by Eric Holder’s increasingly politicezed Justice Department.
Of course everyone knew what was coming. On Oct. 17 President Obama went on the air and the Internet to denounce insurance company greed and what he termed a “bogus” report. From the New York Times:
“It’s smoke and mirrors,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, ‘Take one of these, and call us in a decade.’ Well, not this time.”
Rather than trying to curb costs and help patients, he said, the industry is busy “figuring out how to avoid covering people.”
“And they’re earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exemption from our antitrust laws,” he said, “a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing.”
Mmm, revenge is sweet!
Especially since the health insurance industry was supposed to make nice with the Obama administration in return for getting millions of new clients under coverage mandates in the bills pending on Capitol Hill. Then the mandates, at least in the Senate Finance Committee bill turned out to be not so mandatory after all, carrying only only a $750 fine for noncompliance. That was when AHIP released the report, which outlines the consequences for premium-payers when the uninsured have an incentive to put off obtaining coverage until they get really sick.
Bad insurance companies! You didn’t do what you were told!