The Congressional Budget Office estimates of how much health insurance premiums might cost if H.R. 3590, the Senate health reform bill, took effect, are too low, a think tank says.
The Council for Affordable Health Insurance, Alexandria, Va., a group that promotes a free-market approach to health finance issues, says the current structure of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act bill would promote adverse selection, especially in the early years.
CBO analysts have estimated that the bill, developed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., would cut the cost of health coverage for small groups by about 10% compared with what the cost would be if current laws stayed in place; increase the unsubsidized cost of individual health coverage by more than 10%; and cut the cost of individual coverage by an average of more than 50% for individuals who would receive subsidies.
CAHI believes that individual health insurance premiums would come close to doubling, the group says.
The Reid health bill would require most people who could afford to buy health insurance to have health insurance, but the penalties for violating the requirement would be relatively low, and insurers would have to sell coverage on a guaranteed issue basis, Reid bill critics say.