WASHINGTON BUREAU — The head of America’s Health Insurance Plans today asked Congress and the Obama administration to “turn away from vilification” and work with insurers to draft better health reform legislation.
AHIP President Karen Ignagni made the remarks here as AHIP began its annual National Policy Forum.
AHIP is holding the meeting as member insurers face blistering attacks by President Obama and other health bill advocates.
Obama said Monday during a speech near Philadelphia that insurers are denying coverage to more people with preexisting conditions every year, and dropping the coverage of more people when those people are sick.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has sent a letter to 5 large health insurers asking them to publicly justify their recent rate increases.
Health insurers “strongly support health care reform because we recognize that the current system is unsustainable,” Ignagni said today at the forum. “The current debate about rising premiums has demonstrated that, in fact, we have a health care cost crisis in this country.”
But “the path that has been followed is one of vilification rather than problem solving,” Ignagni said.