IBJNews

Baucus health reform bill draws fire in Indiana, too

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
On The Beat Industry News In Brief

The health insurance industry’s sudden counterpunch to the Senate version of health reform echoed in Indiana and opened a key issue for the rest of the debate: Will covering half of the country’s uninsured mean raising premiums for the 85 percent of Americans who already have insurance?

The answer is yes, according to a controversial study released Oct. 12 by America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group in which Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. is a leading member. But the study was blasted by the Obama administration and congressional Democrats as being both flawed and self-serving.

Hillman

In Indianapolis, however, Rob Hillman, president of WellPoint’s Indiana subsidiary, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, e-mailed the study right away to dozens of Indiana insurance brokers.

 

Also, Susan Rider, an Indianapolis insurance broker and president-elect of the Indianapolis chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters, distributed an e-mail with concerns about the so-called Baucus bill, authored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Health insurers’ main beef with recent amendments to the Baucus bill is that the amendments back away from a deal the insurers thought they had—in exchange for health insurers’ agreeing to cover anyone regardless of how sick they are, Congress would require all Americans to buy health insurance.

That mandate would have been enforced through salty fees charged to anyone who didn’t comply. But the fees were heavily criticized, so Baucus’ Senate Finance Committee rolled them back from an original amount of $3,800 to $1,500 for families. And in the first year the amended bill would take effect, Americans would face no penalty at all for going without insurance.

“The penalty for not having insurance coverage is too low, and it will result in many people choosing to just pay the fine rather than purchasing insurance coverage,” Carl McDonald, a health insurance analyst at Oppenheimer & Co., wrote in a recent blog post. He added, “This is a recipe for adverse selection, which will raise premium costs across the entire health care system.”

The AHIP study tried to calculate exactly how much premiums would rise, saying the average family policy would more than double in price in the next decade, to nearly $26,000.

But the study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, analyzed only four aspects of the Baucus bill. It failed to examine, for example, the $452 billion in subsidies Congress would spend to help uninsured Americans buy health insurance—a potential boon to the industry. Also, since most of the 29 million new customers would be young, healthy and therefore low-spending customers, their presence in insurance risk pools likely would reduce costs for everyone.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • see
    With the mandate we must have the public option and we can't afford to keep giving away all these subsidies. My Lord, what do we not subsidize?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT