Today, the insurance companies, speaking through their front group AHIP, are threatening America:
After months of collaboration on President Obama's attempt to overhaul the nation's health-care system, the insurance industry plans to strike out against the effort on Monday with a report warning that the typical family premium in 2019 could cost $4,000 more than projected.
Their report and its conclusions are completely false, as Ezra Klein and Scarecrow explain, so they're not working with facts here. Rather, they are threatening to raise their rates if health reform hurts their profits.
The insurance industry's complaints come down to a proxy battle - they're attacking the weakened individual mandate provisions and the excise tax in the Senate Finance bill (the one that's a bailout for the very same insurance industry) as a way of attacking health reform in general, as well as an attempt to move the conversation away from the other bills in Congress, bills that do make health care affordable and do have a public health insurance option.
Instead, this report highlights how important it is to tightly regulate this criminal industry and make sure we all have a choice of a public health insurance option, so we're not left at the mercy of big insurance any longer.
The industry appears to want it both ways: they want to force everyone to buy their insurance, while cherry-picking the healthiest members of the uninsured for themselves, and sacrificing nothing in profits – in fact increasing them.
Today, insurance companies said that if they don't get what they want - force people to buy their overpriced insurance or pay a high fine - they will raise rates for all of us. It's a bare threat, especially in a country where over half of bankruptcies are caused by their bad practices.
Insurance companies are threatening us with more bankruptcy, attacking our livelihood and our economy, so they can continue with their criminal ways. We need freedom from the insurance industry's monopoly, and the only way we'll get it is with health reform that makes insurance affordable for people, and a public health insurance option to give us the choice to say no to big insurance.