Not Easily Impressed


From the AP: Insurers like Obama health plan, with reservations

WASHINGTON (AP) — The insurance industry embraced many of President-elect Barack Obama’s ideas for better health care coverage Wednesday, though it opposes a key piece of his plan to require employers to help pay for that coverage.

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The trade group’s recommendations for health care reform were unveiled at the National Press Club.

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But not everyone was impressed.

“Of course, there’s nothing in the industry’s plan that would limit their multimillion dollar CEO salaries or require companies to spend the lion’s share of health insurance premiums on providing health care instead of on administrative costs, fat cat salaries, and skyrocketing profits,” said Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for Health Care For America Now, an advocacy group.

Here’s the full statement we put out today:

“The health insurance industry’s vision of health care reform lets them keep charging whatever they want and increase their profits while sticking families and taxpayers with high costs. Remarkably, the health insurance industry’s solution to medical bankruptcy isn’t to give people good health coverage but to have the government bail-out families who go bankrupt because they have lousy health coverage. How can the health insurance industry propose reform which still lets families go bankrupt and expect to be taken seriously?

AHIP’s plan still lets insurers charge higher premiums for older and sicker people and for women. Their proposal pushes high-deductible plans and still lets insurance companies decide whether or not to approve the care your doctor says you need.

Of course, there’s nothing in the industry’s plan that would limit their multi-million dollar CEO salaries or require companies to spend the lion’s share of health insurance premiums on providing health care instead of on administrative costs, fat cat salaries, and skyrocketing profits.

We call on Congress to join with President-elect Obama to enact health care reform in 2009 which puts the health of our families before the profits of the insurance industry. We don’t need another industry bailout like that proposed by AHIP. We need a guarantee of quality, affordable health care that serves our needs, not lines their pockets.”


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