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
"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