October 12th, 2009
11:24 AM ET
13 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

"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. Susan, Nebraska

    This is suppose to be deficit neutral, but with a trillion dollar price tag, give or take a few hundred billion dollars, somebody is going to pay. It is just common sense that in the end, it will be the consumer, most likely with a lower standard of health care.

    This isn't about health care reform in the first place, it is about control, otherwise, more logical and reasonable solutions would be discussed. I would love to see Congress show some honesty, common sense, logic, and fiscal responsibility for a change.

    I really believe it is time for term limits, many of our congressmen/ women are completely out of touch with working people.

    October 12, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. JS007

    That is why these companies have no place in the health system and should be replaced with a single-payer system, like they have been in all the other industrialized countries: Britain, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, etc. Medicare for all!

    October 12, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. stevetall

    This is one more example of how the insurance industry isn't interested in anything other than their profits. WE NEED THE PUBLIC OPTION so we can keep these jack asses in line. They don't want any competition, but they are unwilling to craft their industry so that it helps Americans. This industry deserves to go out of business.

    If my government could handle the insurance coverage, businesses wouldn't have to. This would make business stronger, more profitable, and better able to compete in a world where other governments take care of their population's health needs.

    I want America to be #1 again, and it ain't going to happen with the current greedy insurance industry mucking things up.

    October 12, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. Dean

    All the more reason for a PUBLIC OPTION folks. These insurance companies will bleed us dry if we don't do something to stop them.

    October 12, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Stacie

    Profit, profit, profit...does anyone still think these companies care at all about people's health???

    October 12, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  6. Mark from Louisiana

    That group must be racist not to agree with obama's plan.

    October 12, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Felly

    The Insurance Companies have no credibility. The Finance Committee will be naive to make a decision based on a tainted Special Interest data than the non partisan CBO data. This is the more reason we need a Public Option to stop these types of fear mongering and nonsense by Insurance. This is the only way to keep them in check.

    October 12, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. tony

    well if you raise my premiun i will just go with the public option when it is passed.

    October 12, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. demo no mas

    Insuring more people will cost more, no matter if it's private insurance or a "public option". We'll pay it through premiums or higher taxes. Next question, please.

    October 12, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. djb

    Even 79% is too much increase in premiums! Since the Minnesota Blue-Cross Blue-Shield already increased their premiums 33% THIS YEAR, that only leave them 46% over the next ten years.

    Premiums should go DOWN if you increase the number of insured and that number includes mostly healthy young people. The health insurance companies should be able to spread the risk. And this would happen IF they weren't so focused on high-end profits.

    October 12, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. janelle

    Bye, Bye Harry and good ridence! Now, if the people in San Fransisco would just wake up and dump Pelosi, we could really get something accomlished in the country by getting the far left out of leadership and getting more moderate, non-common sense challenged Democratic leadership that will get down to business and accomplish what they were elected to do, rather than just play power politics.

    October 12, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Melissa

    lol. Anyone else smell the desperation from the insurance company's? They know they will be forced to stop robbing us so they're trying to scare us. Too bad so many morons in this country will actually fall for their lying crap.

    October 12, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    Didn't the President and Congress say their plan would lower insurance rates for the average American? I cannot afford $4,000.00 more a year to pay for insuring others. Maybe the Obamacrats will pay my bills for me? No, they expect the government and taxpayers like me to pay their bills. If i did not have a great job and had to live on my Military Retirement ($15,000.00 a year) I would still have to pay my $450.00 a year plus deductibles and co-payments. Any government program should require the same.

    October 12, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. www.firedoglake.com

    Only a strong public health insurance option that is available to all Americans can bring costs down and make private insurance companies treat their customers more fairly.

    October 12, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. Laura in KS

    All right, CNN, it's time for the media to do some real investigative journalism. Please, research and report what impact the various health care reform plans would really have on Americans. Obviously you can't predict the future, but if you could please give us an idea of what is most probably going to happen, that would be a Godsend. We are hearing all these conflicting things from all sides–WHICH IS IT??

    October 12, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Kyle

    The sky is the limit!!!!!.....Republicans what NO change.

    October 12, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. JM

    This very sharp warning from insurance companies, about their plan to keep increasing premiums and the cost of health care, should be taken very seriously by the White House and Congress. This is why health insurance reform is badly needed NOW.

    October 12, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. Terry

    So let me get this straight, our taxes are going up, our premiums are going up more than if we did nothing, our unemployment is going up, our death toll in afghanistan is going up, our deficit is going up to were it will affect our children's children, our medicare reimbursement tax dollars are being taken away from our senior citizens, and our acess and quality of care is going down. Did I forget something, oh yeah, the half a trillion dollars being taken away from defenseless senior citizens who need it the most are being given to able bodied adults with no children who are perfectly able to work and buy their own health insurance but choose not to work or buy health insurace, in the form of subsidies (free healthcare). In case some of you haven't got the memo yet, Obama is destroying america.

    October 12, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Enough

    No kidding?? what are the Democrats doing to REDUCE health insurance? Nothing, they are only looking to destroy what we do have. More blowing smoke from the Democrats, making promises they cannot keep or deliver. Vote them out NOW!

    October 12, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. dan smith

    What a shock,the Dumbocrats make changes health care and it causes the price to go up and the benefits to go down. Kick these idiots out of office before they bankrupt the country.

    October 12, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Sally

    It won't be long until no one will have health insurance.

    October 12, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. Tony

    This is shoicking to who? Any 1000+ page bill is loaded with the Dems side deals, taxes on everyone, including inusrance companies (who are just going to pass it along to us) and special interest monies to lobbyists (which OB said wouldn't happen) LOL. If congress really wanted to do the right thing, they would handle each part of this "reform" separately, small 40 or 50 page bills, that are sucinct and easy to read. Maybe then, some of these numbskulls would actually read and understand the bills. But if they did that, there would be no secret pathway to the socialism and single payer system that the Dems so badly want. Come on 2010 and 2012, even if they are dumb enough to pass this trash, we can repeal it after the revolt.

    October 12, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  23. gary

    Only Fox Cnn and the republicans will give this self serving report any air time. This is such a miss leading report that no serious news agency would even report such lies as truths except fox and cnn the two gop stations.

    October 12, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. Mark

    Obamacare sucks period!

    October 12, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. Mike in jax

    What a load of crap. The report comes out the day before the finance committee vote. Put out by insurance companies who of course have Americans best interest at heart. Or their profits.

    October 12, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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