WASHINGTON–Following the Senate’s vote Saturday to open debate on a health care reform bill, groups representing insurance agents and actuaries are voicing deep concern about the proposed legislation.
Covering the uninsured should not come at the cost of making the current employer-based system unaffordable, warned representatives of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
“Attempts to cover the uninsured should not come at the expense of the employer-based system that currently covers 160 million Americans or raise premiums beyond affordable levels for those now covered,” said Tom Currey, president of NAIFA.
Officials of the American Academy of Actuaries spoke out on the same issue, saying the individual coverage mandate provision in the Senate bill must be strengthened.
An effective and enforceable mandate would minimize adverse selection stemming from more restrictive issue and rating rules prescribed by the bill, the AAA said.
The comments by NAIFA and the AAA came as the Senate took the week off to observe the Thanksgiving holiday. The Senate late Saturday approved the critical motion to proceed on the bill
Republicans voted “no” in the 60-39 vote, while 58 Democrats and two independents voted in favor of debating the measure. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, did not vote, saying the bill is too flawed for him to waste time opposing it.
The Senate debate on the bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will resume Nov. 30.
The bill is comparable to H.R. 3590, health care reform legislation passed by the House Nov. 7.