The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Dan Balz's Take

The Rundown

Insurance Industry Opens Fire on Reform

By Ben Pershing
President Obama's efforts to bring various stakeholders on board the health-care reform train -- particularly hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry -- have gotten quite a bit of attention. But health insurance companies have thus far occupied an odd middle ground, not endorsing Democrats' various reform plans but not bringing their full weight to bear in opposition, either.

That appears to be changing, as the industry is set to release a report arguing that the proposals would cause insurance premiums to skyrocket. "The critique, coming one day before a critical Senate committee vote on the legislation, sparked a sharp response from the Obama administration," the Washington Post writes. "It also signaled an end to the fragile detente between two central players in this year's health-care reform drama." The New York Times says, "The study provides ammunition to Republicans attacking the legislation and might intensify the concerns of some Democrats who worry that the bill does not provide enough help to low- and middle-income people to enable them to buy insurance." Jonathan Cohn warns that the report -- produced by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for America's Health Insurance Plans -- "comes with some pretty questionable assumptions," particularly in its treatment of subsidies for individual buyers and the excise tax on "Cadillac" plans.

The Senate Finance Committee will vote on its reform measure Tuesday. What happens next? Bloomberg writes, "The future of U.S. health-care legislation now depends on warring Democrats, number-crunching analysts and, possibly, one senator from Maine." Is that all? The Hill reports that the prospects for health-care co-ops making it into the Senate's combined plan are fading because the idea doesn't have a big constituency in the chamber beyond Kent Conrad. In the strange bedfellows department, the White House is heeding the wishes of Bob Dole, Jake Tapper reports, asking the DNC to pull a TV ad that (misleadingly) touted the Republican's support for health-care reform. Kaiser Health News writes on a broader problem with all of the major reform plans -- they don't do anything to fix the shortage of primary care doctors.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:31 AM ET on Oct 12, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

mwhoke, it's curious that you think tort reform is more critical than health insurance reform.

Thirty cents of every dollar I pay for health insurance goes to "administration" -- which I assume is finding reasons not to pay claims, at least judging from the results. I'm bemused by the notion that getting rid of that runaround would increase my costs.

Why exactly do you think that the insurance companies came up with this "report" now?

Posted by: thmas | October 12, 2009 11:06 PM

To scrivener50: 1. How do you know that they are using microwave weapons against us/you?
Do you sit with a bag of Orville Redenbachers on your lap and if you hear popping then you know you are under attack?
2. What sort of defense do you employ? Parabolic deflectors? A wall of aquariums? Would armor made from old laser disks work?

Posted by: seemstome | October 12, 2009 9:18 PM

I await to see what follows this war-- but an antidote to high costs and insurance for the thousands inusured remains the issue.

Given the re-action from the Insurance Industry-- one must concur reform of the system is long overdue.

Posted by: Victoria5 | October 12, 2009 9:15 PM

The AARP is out shilling for Obamacare again.

"It is well understood that the AARP stands to gain financially from Obamacare, despite its recent public wobbly fence-sitting on the issue. However, the inevitable rationing and benefit cuts to care will undoubtedly harm seniors and many seniors know it."

If are a senior cancel your membership in AARP and move to American Services Association that is against the attack on senior care:

Posted by: Bubbette1 | October 12, 2009 2:27 PM

TO: captainkona @ 11:52 a.m.


RE: Lame psy ops

Your employment of the "tin foil hat" meme represents what our target dissidents term "lame psy ops."

Your response does nothing to discredit their contention that security, intel and military agencies and commands of the U.S. government have co-opted federally-funded citizen volunteer organizations and community watch groups, transforming such units into what target refers to as an "American Gestapo."

Please reference earlier memo in which it was stated: "Lame psy ops is worse than no psy ops at all."

You have been warned. Please review the following:

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 12, 2009 2:11 PM

"• Obama agenda, rule of law subverted by fed-funded, extrajudicial, warrantless GPS-activated vigilante Gestapo"


Pass the tin foil please.

Posted by: captainkona | October 12, 2009 11:52 AM

Well, that's ok.

We'll be opening fire on them real soon.
I can't wait to tell my present, rip-off insurance company to kick rocks in favor of cheaper, more complete coverage.
Then watch them beg me with lower premiums and better service to come back.

Posted by: captainkona | October 12, 2009 11:48 AM

So the Insurance Companies don't like the plan.

Must be good.

Posted by: PulSamsara | October 12, 2009 11:21 AM

If health care costs would rise then that would mean more profit for the insurance corporations. Since when do these bloodsuckers turn down an opportunity to make more money off of the sick? It's obvious the legislation is not to their liking or they would not oppose it.

Posted by: seemstome | October 12, 2009 11:19 AM

I believe everyone agrees that health care should be addressed by the government.

I wish that the Democrats would allow reasonable tort reform in the final product that they produce.

I would hope that the special interests and lobbyists are not allowed to insert loopholes into the bill.

I would hope that the Federal government does not add mandates on the States that will lead to increased taxes in the future.

I am fearful that the final bill will lead to out of control deficits and an increased national debt.

I would hope that those who write the bill allow the CBO time to review the final product before it is voted upon.

This is why I request that the final bill be posted on the internet for a reasonable time so the media and the public can review this bill prior to it being voted upon.

Posted by: mwhoke | October 12, 2009 9:42 AM


• Obama agenda, rule of law subverted by fed-funded, extrajudicial, warrantless GPS-activated vigilante Gestapo, protected by local law enforcement, with operatives within health care facilities -- compromising the quality of patient care.

* Microwave/laser radiation "directed energy weapons" deployed by secretive executive branch "multi-agency coordinated action progam" to silently torture, and to degrade the health of unjustly targeted American citizens -- the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum.

• "Intelligence-based policing" a pretext for a security/military/intel social purge executed at the grassroots with the cooperation of local law enforcement.


BAN BY EXECUTIVE ORDER the use of microwave/laser directed energy weapons on American citizens...

...and BAN the warrantless, covert tracking of individuals via GPS devices or cell phones -- the electronic backbone of a nationwide American Gestapo now operating on YOUR watch.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 12, 2009 9:37 AM

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