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. rob

    Instead of quoting a "White House Spokes person" for every story, DNCNN can just print the stock responses from them and their allies:

    " Insurance companies are greedy Killers",

    "Town hall participants are angry and dangerous",

    "Tea Party participants are Racists",

    "Republicans are all of the above"

    This would be much easier because thats how they view anyone who questions the inevitable.

    October 12, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. www.firedoglake.com

    Why do so many of the commenters think that these rising health insurance rates that have been projected are the fault of Obama or of "Obamacare" and his plans to reform health care?


    Only a strong public health insurance option can create real competition, get costs down, and force the private insurers to treat their customers more fairly.

    October 12, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  3. james

    Call me stupid but I thought the healthcare reform bill is suppose to make healthcare more affordable. Adding an add'l 4k/year to my healtcare bill ain't exactly making it more affordable. So is this healthcare bill suppose to just cover more people???? in other word, is the administration asking those of us already paying outrageous $$ for healthcare to pay more so others can be covered who are not paying??? listen, I'm all for everyone having healthcare but WTH!!! how am i going to afford this extra 4k/year when i'm already paying 13k/year in healthcare. I hope this bill fail miserably.

    October 12, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. u2canfail

    Aren't we surprised! Rates up, my goodness, that has never happened before. I hate insurance companies. The 20% profit is after the CEO is paid and the corporate jet has flown.

    I want a public option.

    October 12, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  5. Frank, Las Vegas

    What a shock! A study paid for by the insurance companies says that if health reform happens, insurance rates will rise. This sounds like straight out blackmail. One more obvious reason why a strong public option is needed. And if a strong public option breaks the back of the insurance companies and puts them out of business then so be it. Isn't it strange that the GOP say that if a company can't compete that they should be allowed to fail, except of course when those companies line the pockets of the GOP with billions of dollars. Obviously the GOP line of "Country First" was just another GOP lie.

    October 12, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Marlene

    The AHIP web site says they have 1300 members. The President & CEO is Michael E. Abbott of American Enterprise Group, Inc. The article by CNN, doesn't give us the study's methodology or date's the study covered. Maybe CNN would like to report, as fact, that 43,000 people die every year, because the insurance industry won't cover pre-existing conditions or drop people from coverage if they get sick. But, that's OK, CNN, I'll do the investigating reporting, myself.

    October 12, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Florida Joe

    They have just made the case for a public option........Now they think they can threaten Americans....Obviously the Health Industry has become too large........Maybe if they cut the pay of their top executives the rates would fall.........PUBLIC OPTION NOW MORE THAN EVER.....

    October 12, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Jann in Denver

    Duh, this is not news either. CNN you all are really reaching; tell us something we don't know.

    October 12, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Christian Values

    Yea, and the sun rises in the morning, BIG NEWS! Here's a fact: Insurance rates have risin EVERY year, regardless of anything and everything. Our current health care industry profits off of each person they sentence to death. They ARE the death panel!

    We need a complete make over on our health care bill, a full blown public option to send this satanic cult known as the private health care industry straight to hell! It is nothing less then Mass Genocide for profit. Anybody who wishes to keep these murderers in business is demonic and hate filled, and endorses the practice of FIFTEEN 9/11's per year.

    Thank goodness Grandam has government provided health care. But Little Timmy with the pre-existing condition can go suck on poison since our current health care system desires to slaughter him!

    October 12, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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