October 12th, 2009
11:24 AM ET
5 years ago

Health insurance rates to rise, industry group claims

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Health insurance premiums for the typical American family will increase by another $4,000 by 2019 under a key Senate reform plan, according to a new industry trade group analysis.

The report raised new questions about the political viability of the 10-year, $829 billion compromise bill drafted under the guidance of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana.

The Finance Committee is expected to vote on the plan Tuesday. The vote represents a potential turning point in the health care debate. Baucus' committee is the last of five congressional panels to consider health care legislation before debate begins in the full House and Senate.

The report from the group America's Health Insurance Plans concludes that, under the Baucus plan, the costs of private health insurance would rise by 111 percent over the next decade. Under the current system, costs would rise by 79 percent, the report claims.


Premiums for individuals could rise by an extra $1,500 if the Baucus plan is implemented, the report states.

The report says premiums will rise faster under the Baucus plan in part because it doesn't do enough to require individuals to purchase coverage. A failure to draw enough young, healthy people into the insurance system would drive up rates for everyone else, it concludes.

At the same time, a proposed tax on employer-sponsored high-cost "Cadillac" plans could result in higher premiums for many private consumers, the report claims. It also highlights likely cost-shifting due to Medicare cuts and an array of new taxes and fees on industries tied to the health care sector.

The White House blasted the report Monday, calling it inaccurate and self-serving.

"This is a self-serving analysis from the insurance industry, one of the
major opponents of health insurance reform," White House spokesman Reid Cherlin
said.

"It comes on the eve of a vote that will reduce the industry's profits.
It is hard to take it seriously. The analysis completely ignores critical
policies (that) will lower costs for those that have insurance, expand coverage
and provide affordable health insurance options to millions of Americans who
are priced out of today's health insurance market or are locked out by unfair
insurance company practices."

Finance Committee spokesman Scott Mulhauser called the analysis "a health
insurance company hatchet job, plain and simple."

The analysis from America's Health Insurance Plans, first reported by the
Washington Post, was conducted by the firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

–CNN's Dana Bash, Dan Lothian and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report


Filed under: Health care • Senate
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. tjaman

    Health insurance industry: "Look! A ghost! Booga booga booga!"

    If their rates go up, even more people will choose the public option. Every other industry on the planet has had to economize over the past 20 years because of their inability to do so, so you'd best get to tightening those belts, health insurance industry!

    October 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "This is a self-serving analysis from the insurance industry, one of the
    major opponents of health insurance reform," White House spokesman Reid Cherlin
    said.
    -------------------------------–

    My sentiments exactly. Another 'fear tactic' in keeping healthcare reform from going forward. 111% vs. 79%! Phooey!! If they'd thought it through they could've said 111% vs. 50 or 40% increase over the next 10 years. Does it really matter though when more resources are allocated towards the denial of a claim than towards it's approval?
    Lies and fairy tales.

    October 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Four and The Door

    This is the biggest problem with the Baucus Plan. It does not improve the cost of health insurance and in fact raises the cost. This is not the kind of reform Americans need. The track record for this administration and congress getting intimately tied up with private industries is abysmal. Why would anyone believe they have all of the sudden become economic wizards with Health Insurance?

    October 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Let's make sure..................

    We'll see about that.......there's already legistlation for mandating a cap on co payment charges to the insured. It's great they're announcing this now. We'll have to mandate a cap for maximal charges with health insurance policies for the insured based on a sliding scale of family or individual income.....and that will be the end of that problem................

    October 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. The Health Insurance Cartel is Killing Americans

    And how many Republican'ts are STILL screaming that we don't need a public option to keep the Health Insurance Cartel from raising insurance premiums so high that most Americans will not be able to afford health insurance in another 10 years??? How can they justify being on the side of the Health Insurance Cartel and against American citizens???? And by the way, I'm lumping the "Blue Dog Democrats" right in there WITH the Republicant's! In my opinion they should change political parties because they have been nothing if not obstuctionists in this whole battle!

    October 12, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    The White House blasted the report Monday, calling it inaccurate and self-serving.

    "This is a self-serving analysis from the insurance industry, one of the
    major opponents of health insurance reform," White House spokesman Reid Cherlin
    said.

    And Obama's repeated lies aren't self-serving? The lies from Congress aren't self-serving?

    The only thing we know for sure is that the American people are being lied to wholesale, by just about everyone.

    October 12, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Tim

    They are already rising!!! It's so sad that people believe the lies from the very people who are robbing them!!!

    October 12, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. GI Joe

    What a joke. The Insurance companies will continue to raise rates no matter what - until there is a public option.

    GOP is our Death Panel

    They are protecting Insurance company profits.

    Demand a public option so WE have CHOICES. Call your representatives NOW or keep your mouth shut when the Insurance companies win !!

    October 12, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. Pete Caloger

    Only an idiot, or a republican lawmaker, would lend any credence to the analysis of this damage control group.

    October 12, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. buster

    ANOTHER Obama LIE – Looks like my family will be paying $4,000 MORE and we make under $250,000. I can't afford to support people who don't want to work.

    October 12, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. Party's Over

    But still no public option. Yes we can't!!!

    October 12, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. beachgirl

    We should give the President at least to "try" to fix this Health issue.
    It costs me more than my mortgage payment, the rent of my fancy office and thank God I'm healthy!

    WHEN IS THIS GOING TO STOP???

    October 12, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Lainna, MI

    This is not a surprise, the health insurance companies have been holding us hostage for decades. Now that the people are fighting bag, they are throwing something else in the mix. There actions are the very reasons we should move forward, and quickly. The insurance companies need competition and now.

    Move forward to break the stranglehold of the health care thieves.

    October 12, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. chill

    Sounds like a good reason to put the trigger in the final bill. Interesting that insurance companies consider an average 7.9% annual rate of cost inflation "good news".

    October 12, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  15. Trudy

    Give me a break. What are you going to do insurance companies? Let us all die? This is why we need the Public Option to shut these criminals down once and for all.

    October 12, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Stu- SW Florida

    Well there's a shocker..

    More threats from the HC industry. How much higher can they put them.
    Just how many more million$ can they give their CEOs?
    Truly disgusting...

    October 12, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. T'SAH from Virginia

    PUBLIC OPTION will eliminate rise in health care!!! Case in POINT!! How could anyone be so stupid as to not to see that!!! Competition will force insurance companies to compete and lower cost....Jeez!!!

    October 12, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Jon

    It is unacceptable that insurance rates would rise by 111% over the next decade under the Baucus plan (according to industry estimates) but that they would even rise by 79% under the currect system. This is exactly why we need the public option.

    October 12, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  19. Torrin

    It's unfortunate that the Bill will not include the goverment funded option. The people should realize that the republicans are on the side of big business and these insurance companies don't want this option to effect rates, policy terms and their profit margins. It seems many people have bought into the socialism rhetoric that has been fed to them by a party that has more interest in defeating any Democrat bill and serving big business lobyists than helping the American people that this will effect. Have we learned nothing from the financial devestation cause world wide by our unwillingness to control big business greed?

    October 12, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Crock

    this is a ploy to scare more folks..you can tell who is scared by how hard they are trying to stop it...

    October 12, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. Mississippi Miss

    Go figure. Then go figure again. We need reform, but we don't want this insanity. Thank you Senator Baucus for hanging in there and doing your best. but now it is time to implement the reasonable ideas from both parties. We want reform, start over.. it can be done with bi-partisanship, for the benefit of all of us... start over.

    October 12, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. AEK

    Insurance industry group=LIES
    What they don't tell you is that without a public option they will continue to increase premiums at an outrageous yearly rate, continue to deny coverage to long-time clients, and make obscene profits at our expense. Other than that, I think their information is probably reliable!

    October 12, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. The black Spider

    One good reason they should be all put out of business for saying out loud what they intend to do. Only in America you can make money off sick people by refusing to cover them or denying their claims after taking their money for years or treating to raise people premium is anubody dare chalenging them.
    If they can't even accept the bocus bill which we don't like because it intend to favor them then we need a single payer or a strong public option now.
    What a disgrace for this country to have such greedy companies.

    October 12, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. David

    "Under the current system, costs would rise by 79 percent, the report claims."

    So we're just supposed to go along with the status quo? Why isn't the health insurance industry doing a bit of soul searching to figure out the reason behind this unacceptable trend line and take proactive measures to prevent it? Instead, all we get is a dubious analysis whose sole purpose appears to be to stoke fear among those who already have coverage and kill any efforts at reform.

    October 12, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. anthony

    According to the report from the insurance industry trade group, under the current system, insurance premiums will rise by 79% in 10 years. This must mean that if the public option is adopted, the premiums will not rise by 79% in 10 years. If the premiums rise by more than 79% in 10 years when there is a public option, it is doubtful that any insurance companies will be driven into bankruptcy by the public option.

    October 12, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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