WASHINGTON BUREAU — Implementing the taxes proposed in the Senate Finance Committee health reform proposal would increase the cost of health care by 14% over the next 5 years, America’s Health Insurance Plans says.
AHIP, Washington, is using that figure, and the analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P., New York, that produced it, to try to push for changes in the proposal, the America’s Health Future Act bill draft.
Over the weekend, AHIP launched advertisements condemning the proposal. The proposal, a “chairman’s mark,” was developed under the direction of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.
The draft bill would impose new taxes on health insurers, prescription drugs and medical devices in order to pay for coverage of the uninsured.
AHIP launched its attack as the Senate Finance Committee prepared for a Tuesday vote on the bill.
But AHIP President Karen Ignagni says AHIP is still serious about wanting to reform the U.S. health care system.
Today, when AHIP unveiled the PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis, Ignagni said she will suggest ways that the Senate Finance Committee can change the AHFA proposal to accomplish the committee’s goals without increasing the cost of health care.
Congress should continue to push for the original goal of the health reform effort, which is to hold down costs, Ignagni said.
PricewaterhouseCoopers says the current version of the AHFA bill would impose “insurance market reforms and consumer protection that would raise health insurance premiums for individuals and families if the reforms are not coupled with effective coverage requirements.”