The report heard ’round the Hill, one day before the Senate Finance Committee is due to vote on Max Baucus’ health care reform proposal, was indeed commissioned by Americas Health Insurance Plans in order to provide a fair assessment of what the Democrats’ reform plan would mean for the American people they purport to represent.
The report was also conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. You know, that enormous hybrid of accounting giants Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand? You know, the firm retained by thousands of companies to provide objective valuation studies, and by the Academy Awards to objectively oversee voting for frou-frou movies that nobody wants to see?
Well, the numbers reported by AHIP and PWC certainly didn’t make the White House happy. The president and the Democrats are, after all, doing everything they can to force an unwanted incarnation of needed health care reform down Americans’ throats, and families finding out that the legislation would result in health care coverage costing hundreds of dollars extra each month certainly can’t help the agenda.
That’s right. According to the study commissioned by the insurance industry but conducted by an independent accounting firm, the average American family would face an additional $2000 in health care coverage costs by 2013, and a staggering increase of $4000 by 2019. Those are annual cost increases, people. I can’t absorb that on our budget, can you?
What does this mean? It means that the millions of Americans who, like me, are struggling each month to get by, will be forced to endure an increase in health care coverage costs while maintaining the same coverage as we have now — that is, until the insurance companies just cannot compete any more and go the way of the dodo, leaving America with a single-payer, government-run system.
Democrats claim that the study is flawed, because it doesn’t address provisions within the still-yet-unwritten legislative language (as far as I know, they’re voting on conceptual language only) which purportedly temper increased costs through tax credits and the like. My problem here is that, between the insurance companies telling me that prices will increase, and the federal government telling me that their efforts will result in a price decrease, I believe the insurance industry.
Especially considering that the insurers, for the sake of oversight, retained PricewaterhouseCoopers — while Congress, for the sake of oversight, has on its own payroll people like Rep. Charlie Rangel and Sen. Christopher Dodd. Who are you going to believe?
Click HERE for contact information for your senator. Then call. The committee vote is tomorrow.