Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Health Insurers Hate Reform

The kill the bill crowd keeps telling me how much the insurance industry loves the reform bill and granted they did say they wanted to help pass it. But like a cheating lover, they were getting cozy with the national Chamber of Commerce behind our backs and quietly pumped millions into attack ads, funneling through the Chamber''s coffers.
That money, between $10 million and $20 million, came from Aetna, Cigna, Humana, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans, UnitedHealth Group and Wellpoint, according to two health care lobbyists familiar with the transactions. The companies are all members of the powerful trade group America's Health Insurance Plans.

The funds were solicited by AHIP and funneled to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help underwrite tens of millions of dollars of television ads by two business coalitions set up and subsidized by the chamber. Each insurer kicked in at least $1 million and some gave multimillion-dollar donations.

"There's no question that AHIP has quietly solicited monies from their members which were funneled over to the chamber for their ads," said a source. The total donated by the health insurers, according to one estimate, was as much as one-quarter of the chamber's total health care advertising budget.
So maybe, millions of forced consumers or not, they don't really love this bill. It suggests to me that they feel threatened by reform. If they really stood to make millions more in profit on the proposed changes, it seems unlikely they would be sneaking around trying to kill it in order to preserve the status quo.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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