Daily Health Care News – 10/13/09

NEWS

Insurers face blowback after reportPolitico

In the health care reform debate, where playing nice has been the rule, a scathing insurance industry report looked to critics Monday like a grenade aimed at scuttling progress in Congress.

As Panel Votes Today, Democrats Look AheadWashington Post

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a landmark vote on health-care reform legislation Tuesday that is expected to underscore the deep partisan divisions that have emerged and hardened over five months of debate.

Congress Is Split on Effort to Tax Costly Health Plans New York Times

A proposed tax on high-cost, or “Cadillac,” health insurance plans has touched off a fierce clash between the Senate and the House as they wrestle over how to pay for legislation that would provide health benefits to millions of uninsured Americans.

Sens: Snowe may be risking a high perch on healthcare reform vote The Hill

Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) is risking a shot at becoming the top Republican on an influential Senate committee by backing Democratic healthcare legislation, according to senators on the panel.

Employers Are Pushing Ineligible Dependents Out of PlansWashington Post

Are your marriage certificate and your kids’ birth certificates handy? You may need them to continue health coverage for your family or if you start a new job.

The State of Play on Health CareBusinessWeek

In time for the Senate Finance Committee’s expected vote on a health care bill Tuesday, small business advocacy group Main Street Alliance is planning events in 11 states to support a public health insurance option and what the group calls “a fair employer contribution.”

The Purge Is OnBusinessWeek

When your insurer hikes rates after an employee gets seriously ill, the goal may be to dump your small business

Insurance company drops ‘fat baby’ banUPI.com

A Colorado insurance company will drop a ban on providing health coverage for infants considered to weigh too much for their length, a company spokeswoman said.

OPINION

Insurance Industry Issues Misleading Report, Promises To Increase Premiums By 111%Think Progress

After months of publicly supporting health care reform, insurers are warning Congress that under the Baucus health care bill, “the cumulative increases in the cost of a typical family policy…will be approximately $20,700 more than it would be under the current system.”

Insurance Industry Declares Open War on Reform: They Promise to Raise Their Rates If Reform Passes – Mike Lux

The insurance industry inadvertently gave health reformers the best argument we ever could have had to pass a public option and the strongest possible regulations on insurers. Declaring that rates will go up dramatically if reform passes, insurers launched a full-scale open assault on the idea of any reform at all yesterday, except I guess a reform plan especially tailored to them and their profitability. What they left out of their little study is that they are the ones who decide when rates go up because the biggest companies have very little competition in most of the markets they are in. There is no federal rate regulation, there is no anti-trust enforcement in insurance (they are specifically exempted from it in the McCarran-Ferguson Act), and unless there is a public option, there will be little competition. They will be the ones who decide if the rates go up, and they have just guaranteed they would raise those rates if we don’t stop them from doing it.

Could Health Care Reform Further Divide The Chamber Of Commerce?Media Matters

While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has made its anti-health care reform position clear on many occasions, it looks as though some local chapters are fully aware of the benefits reform could reap for small businesses.

AHIP Promotes a Public OptionChange.org

Big Insurance just made the most convincing argument yet for a public insurance option. In a memo explaining a highly questionable study that AHIP commissioned from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Karen Ignani explicitly promised that private insurance prices would rise dramatically under proposed healthcare reforms (I didn’t think they would confirm my wallet-stealing point so quickly.) Now we have it straight from the horse’s mouth – thanks, AHIP!

A Return to Form for the Insurance IndustryEzra Klein

TPMDC’s Christina Bellantoni asked Kurt Bardella, spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), about the insurance industry’s attack on health-care reform. After making pretty clear that he basically agreed with the report, Bardella cautioned that “any Republican that uses the report should double-check to see how much money they’ve received from the industry, as that’ll be a very easy rebuttal for Dems to hit back.”

Young America Wants Health Care ReformAFL-CIO

As the AFL-CIO report, “Young Workers: A Lost Decade,” recently found, some 31 percent of workers under age 35 have no health insurance–even if they have jobs. Millions more young workers have insufficient coverage. It’s a dangerous situation, and too many young workers would be left bankrupt if hit by an accident or unexpected illness.

(compiled for Health Care for America Now)

Daily Health Care News – 10/13/09

NEWS

Insurers face blowback after reportPolitico

In the health care reform debate, where playing nice has been the rule, a scathing insurance industry report looked to critics Monday like a grenade aimed at scuttling progress in Congress.

As Panel Votes Today, Democrats Look AheadWashington Post

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a landmark vote on health-care reform legislation Tuesday that is expected to underscore the deep partisan divisions that have emerged and hardened over five months of debate.

Congress Is Split on Effort to Tax Costly Health Plans New York Times

A proposed tax on high-cost, or “Cadillac,” health insurance plans has touched off a fierce clash between the Senate and the House as they wrestle over how to pay for legislation that would provide health benefits to millions of uninsured Americans.

Sens: Snowe may be risking a high perch on healthcare reform vote The Hill

Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) is risking a shot at becoming the top Republican on an influential Senate committee by backing Democratic healthcare legislation, according to senators on the panel.

Employers Are Pushing Ineligible Dependents Out of PlansWashington Post

Are your marriage certificate and your kids’ birth certificates handy? You may need them to continue health coverage for your family or if you start a new job.

The State of Play on Health CareBusinessWeek

In time for the Senate Finance Committee’s expected vote on a health care bill Tuesday, small business advocacy group Main Street Alliance is planning events in 11 states to support a public health insurance option and what the group calls “a fair employer contribution.”

The Purge Is OnBusinessWeek

When your insurer hikes rates after an employee gets seriously ill, the goal may be to dump your small business

Insurance company drops ‘fat baby’ banUPI.com

A Colorado insurance company will drop a ban on providing health coverage for infants considered to weigh too much for their length, a company spokeswoman said.

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