Senate Democratic leaders reacted harshly to an insurance industry report saying that premiums for people in the individual and small group market will rise substantially under their reform bill.
Senate Democrats blast insurance industry report
“What a joke,” said Scott Mulhauser, spokesman for the Senate Finance Committee, in an e-mail. “How many fatally flawed ‘reports' do insurance companies need before their credibility is entirely shot? This is akin to the tobacco companies commissioning another study claiming nicotine isn't addictive and cigarettes don't cause cancer.”
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association released a report on Thursday saying that average annual medical claims in the Senate bill's reformed individual market will be 54% higher than today by 2019.
The report, conducted by the consulting firm Oliver Wyman, concluded that incentives, subsidies and penalties were not enough in the Senate bill to get healthy people to purchase insurance.
“These insurers and their defenders are scrambling to stand in the way of progress,” Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said in a written statement.
Jeff Smokler, spokesman for the Blues association, said the group is proud of the report and stands by it. See related comments in today's Daily Dialogue below.
Earlier this week, federal actuaries said the overhaul bill would result in higher health insurance premiums for many but that much of the increased costs would be defrayed by subsidies.
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