Congress

Health Insurers Refuse to Limit Rescissions

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.)
Put on the spot at a Congressional hearing, health insurers defend policies that target the sickest

Originally at LATimes.com
June 17, 2009 -- Executives of three of the nation's largest health insurers told federal lawmakers in Washington on Tuesday that they would continue canceling medical coverage for some sick policyholders, despite withering criticism from Republican and Democratic members of Congress who decried the practice as unfair and abusive.

PhRMA, Families USA Praise Merkley, Wyden

Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley
Reformers and drug companies team up to praise Oregon senators in the lead up to a Congressional health reform bill

June 17, 2009 -- Strange bedfellows. That’s how Ron Pollack describes his recent collaboration with the pharmaceutical trade group, better known as the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America.

Politics Aside, Would a Public Option Work?

Nancy Ann DeParle
The fight for a public health plan option may have lost sight of what it really means
June 5, 2009 -- As Congress prepares its healthcare reform package, a debate looms over whether it should include a “public option” to compete with private plans and, presumably, keep them honest. Since a universal public health plan -- single payer—challenges the whole role of private insurance, the public option was supposed to be seen by the health insurance industry as a “lesser evil” and therefore elicit less resistance.

Senators Consider Public Option With Triggers

Sens. Edward Kennedy and Max Baucus
The option for a public health plan like Medicare has senators divided, forging compromise that would diminish plan
Originally at HuffingtonPost.com
June 2, 2009 -- The Obama administration and Senate Democrats are debating a health care reform outline that will insist upon a public option for insurance but leave open the possibility for it to be kicked in via triggers.

A Case for the Public Plan Option

[site-name]
What is the industry afraid of?

May 28, 2009 -- We appear to be closing in on the next generation of health care reform with expectations of action by Congress as early as this summer. One of the most contentious questions is whether the introduction of a new government run, public plan should be included. Would this be the mother of all unfunded entitlements?

Healthcare Lobby Turns on Obama, Mounts Attack

[site-name]
Days after a landmark deal at the White House, healthcare industry leaders said Obama got the story wrong
May 21, 2009 -- In the two weeks since a landmark announcement that healthcare industry leaders would trim their own growth by 1.5 percent per year, industry lobby groups behind the scenes were mounting million-dollar advertising campaigns against key planks in the Obama plan, reports the Washington Post.

Open Letter to Congress

[site-name]
In aiming to cover everyone with insurance, don't forget costs

Despite all the talk of change, most of the noise emanating from inside the Beltway suggests that in health care, we are going to get more of the same:  Employer-based care, more cost, and more government subsidies so the insurance industry can continue to profit from an inefficient delivery system.

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