August 10th, 2009 – Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, responded to the accusations of villainy the insurance industry has been facing from President Obama and a few members of Congress. America’s Health Insurance Plans is a health insurance industry trade group that has been active in trying to shape a sensible plan for health reform.
“Our proposal brings everyone into the system, guarantees coverage for all Americans, does away with pre-existing condition limitations and ends rating based on health status and gender,” she said. But AHIP is a vigorous critic of the government-run insurer — known as the “public option” — that is a central component of the Democrat-favored reforms. “A government-run plan would inevitably rely on its price-setting ability to offer artificially low premiums — effectively subsidized by the private sector through cost shifting,” Ignagni argued. “This would force employers to drop their coverage, creating a death spiral for private insurance and financial catastrophe for many hospitals and doctors.”
Ignagni said that the more the public learns about the reforms, the more the public opposes them. But Baucus countered that when people are told this is about reforming the health insurance industry, “it becomes quite popular.”
A government run plan would certainly cause some trouble with private insurance companies, and would ultimately result in less than effective coverage on multiple fronts. Private insurance companies might have higher prices attached to the plans offered, but with those plans comes greater coverage and, what some would consider most important, individuals who can answer questions that are just a phone call away.