Health Insurers Make Effort to Be Part of Healthcare Reform
Health insurers are opposed to the Democratic push to create a government-run health plan which would compete with private insurers for customers. In an effort to keep their customers and be part of the healthcare reform, the health insurers have proposed actually ending the industry’s practice of premiums based on a person’s medical condition.
The America’s Health Insurance Plans, a Washington- based industry lobbyist organization, says the proposal on premiums must be part of a program that would require everyone in the U.S. to have health coverage. The offer by the group was made earlier this week in a letter to Democratic Senators Max Baucus of Montana and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts. Both of these senators are part of the effort to overhaul the U.S. health system.
The proposed changes would make it less likely and, hopefully, unlikely that anyone would be denied insurance because of pre-existing medical conditions. The larger pool, one that included all U.S. citizens, would help keep the overall premiums down. The insurers would still adjust variations in the price of premiums to an applicant’s age, family size and place of residence.
There is concern about how new members would be added. it is estimated that the rate of uninsured is at 15% of the U.S. population. Lawmakers are very interested in decreasing the number of uninsured.
Questions remain as to how the “requirement” that all Americans must purchase health insurance would be effectively enforced. Other barriers include the question of subsidies to aid low-income families in paying for the required coverage.
Healthcare reform is certainly high on President Obama’s agenda. Will the insurance industry manage to lead the way to universal coverage without a government plan or will there be a government-run plan? Only time will tell.
America’s Health Insurance Plans