Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), outgoing chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, has sent letters to the CEOs of the top 10 for-profit health insurance companies asking them to lower their premiums in light of rising profits.
Stark presses insurers to lower premiums
The 10 insurers reported combined profits of $9.3 billion in the first nine months of this year, about $2.1 billion more than the same period of 2009, a 41% increase, according to Stark.
Letters were sent to the CEOs of WellPoint, Aetna, Humana, Amerigroup, Health Net, UnitedHealth Group, Molina Healthcare, Centene, Coventry Health Care and Healthspring.
“I call upon your companies to share the billions you are reaping in higher profits with your policyholders by lowering premiums,” Stark wrote in the letters. “Please respond with your plans to pass these profits along to consumers.”
In response, Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plans, the trade group representing major insurers said, “The data are clear that underlying medical costs are driving up the cost of healthcare coverage. For every dollar spent on healthcare in America less than one penny goes towards health plan profits, and it's time Washington addressed the other 99 cents."
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.