The Senate Finance Committee's reform package would more than double premium costs over the next decade while doing little to tamp down the overall cost of care, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and sponsored by the insurance lobby.
Backed by America's Health Insurance Plans, the report says the average American family's premiums would rise to $25,900 by 2019 from the $12,300 it pays today. Individuals would see their premiums rise to $9,700 from $4,200.
AHIP President and CEO Karen Ignagni said that as written, the committee's bill would make coverage less affordable “for individuals, families and employers,” and ultimately drive up costs faster than if the system were left untouched. “I think Congress too early gave up the goal of bending the cost curve,” Ignagni told reporters in a conference call.
The report cites four main provisions in the bill that would increase the cost of coverage, including insurance market reforms paired with a scaled-back coverage mandate, a new tax on high-cost health plans, cuts in Medicare payments and new taxes on medical devices, pharmaceuticals and other health-related industries.
“It's a health insurance company hatchet job, plain and simple,” said Scott Mulhauser, a spokesman for Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.).