U. S. health insurance companies are offering to cut insurance rates for millions ofÂ woman and to accept close federal regulation of their industry in a bid to head off creation of a government health plan, according to an Associated Press story published in the Los Angeles Times.
Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the national association representing nearly 1,300 health care insurers, told Congress Tuesday that her industry is willing to accept a series of consumer protections they say could add up to a fairer marketplace and cut the ranks of the 50 million uninsured.
“I do not accept the premise that to keep the [private] plans honestÂ you need a public program,” Ignagni told the Senate Finance CommitteeÂ (pdf), whichÂ is helping to shape the nation’s $2.5 trillion health care reform effort, the AP said.
President Obama and many Democrats favor a national health plan that would compete with private insurers to enroll middle-class workers and their families. The insurance companies say a government plan wouldÂ drive Â them out of business.
Employer groups also are leery of aÂ national plan because it could lure young, healthy workers with low premiums. Inclusion of these workers in employer-sp0nsored plans helps balance the risk — and the cost — of insuring older or sicker workers.
In December, the insurers’ association pitched its plan to reform the nation’s health care system so that itÂ offers universal coverage, slows the growth of health care costs and improves the quality of health care.
The association also launched its Campaign for an American Solution, which it calls a grassroots and education campaign to build workable health care reform based on coverage, affordability, quality, value,Â choice and portability.
More stories worth a read:
- Ohio selects APS Healthcare to manage unified population health management program for state employeesÂ (PRNewswire)
- Eli Lilly submits drug to FDA (Indianapolis Star)
- Health officials confirm Portage swine flu (Akron Beacon Journal)
- Dendreon goes on hiring binge after prostate cancer drug boosts survivalÂ (Xconomy Seattle)
- GlaxoSmithKline to divest U.S. rights for Wellbutrin XL(R) to Biovail for $510 millionÂ (PRNewswire)
- Face transplant gives Ohio woman new taste for life (Columbus Dispatch/Associated Press)
- Swine flu outbreak has labs worldwide clamoring for AthensÂ company’s product (Columbus Dispatch/WBNS-10TV)
- Wellcare agrees to pay $80 m illion to settle Medicaid case (HealthLeaders Media)
- Elsevier admits journal error (FinancialÂ Times)
- Most Northeast Ohio biotech companies ahead of trend (WKSU News)