Friday, June 19, 2009

Insurers Fight Public Health Plan

Health care reform could be the insurance industry's greatest nightmare or a dream-come-true, depending on the fate of some of the most sweeping proposals. And health and accident insurers, in addition to HMOs and health services, are hoping that the $586 million they've spent on lobbying since 1998 will pay off now.

What these insurers want more than anything, of course, is to get some help in improving their bottom line, and they can't do it if the system maintains the status quo. According to the Chicago Tribune, private insurers have been rapidly losing customers since 2000 and this trend has only accelerated since the start of the recession, when people lost their jobs en masse. They're also worried about what will happen to their business when baby boomers are eligible for Medicare and no longer need private insurance. The perfect fix, the industry says, is the government requiring all people to buy medical coverage, which would add millions of new customers and generate a steady revenue stream, the Tribune reported.

Read more at OpenSecrets

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