Monday, October 12, 2009

Insurers attack health reform. Or not.

(money: the root of all health care)

Stop the presses! Hold your horses! Better sit down for this one.

The health insurance industry has mounted "an attack against health reform." A Huffington Post headline this morning screamed: Insurance Companies Declare War.

But did they?

Here's what happened: the insurance industry released some figures from a study showing that the Baucus plan would add $1,700 a year to a family's health insurance premiums in 2013, or $600 a year for an individual.

Pardon my French, but no shit. Does this actually surprise anyone?

As it stands right now, with no attempt at competition or price regulation, the Baucus bill is not even TRYING to reduce premium costs. In fact, the response from Scott Mulhauser, a spokesman for Baucus, underscores this fact.

According to Huffington Post:
"Baucus spokesman Mulhauser said the study is 'seriously flawed' because it doesn't take into account provisions in the legislation that would lower the cost of coverage, such as tax credits to help people buy private insurance, protections for current policies and administrative savings from a revamped marketplace."

Did you catch that? Tax credits to help people buy private insurance are supposed to lower the cost of coverage? How does that make sense?? The insurers can charge whatever they want, making profits for shareholders and enriching the fat cats at the top, and the taxpayers will cover the bill. It's simple. It's brilliant. And it has nothing to do with lowering the cost of coverage. (shifting it to the middle class, yes. lowering it - no.)

So let's just all calm down. The insurance companies have not declared war.

~ They're just letting us know that they plan to raise premiums.

~ They're just saying that the Baucus bill gives them plenty of excuses to raise them even higher.

~ They're just telling the truth.

Now take a deep breath, relax, and go take your vitamins. You certainly don't want to get sick.



  1. I am so confused anymore. I can't keep up with the attacks and counterattacks. I heard on the news tonight that one insurance company refused coverage for a 4 month old baby because he was too fat. Yeah he was chubby but geez he is a baby for heaven's sake. These companies are disgusting.

  2. Rae: We're still fairly early in the process of coming up with an actual bill to take an actual vote on. The problem is, the more they work on it the worse it looks. Argh. You're right, the insurance companies are doing whatever they want, to make a buck. Disgusting.