Americas Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association said that the creation of a government-run health planchampioned by President Barack Obama and many congressional Democratswould prove detrimental to a broad overhaul of the nations health system.
In a letter sent to key senators, AHIP and BCBSA said that any such program would thwart the ability of the healthcare sector to implement meaningful delivery system reforms, exacerbate the cost-shift from public programs to consumers and employers in the private market, and destabilize the employer-based system. The two groups said that more than 100 million Americans would leave their private insurance plan for a federally subsidized one.
Additionally, both AHIP and BCBSA said they could guarantee coverage to every individual, including those with pre-existing conditions, but only if there is a mandate that requires Americans to obtain and hold coverage. Even so, rating flexibility based on age, geography, family size and benefit design is needed to maintain affordability.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and one of the recipients of the letter, said he was pleased to hear the insurance industrys proposal. It indicates that they want to play ball, he said. They want to be constructive and helpful rather than in opposition.