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AUSTIN – The newly released report on health care costs by accounting giant Price Waterhouse Coopers and paid for by the insurance lobby, America’s Health Insurance Plans, is just one more industry scare tactic, according to the Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG), a good government and consumer group
“This futile, last-ditch attempt to derail reform would be laughable if it weren’t so predictable,” stated Melissa Cubria, TexPIRG Advocate.
Issued on the eve of a vote in the Senate Finance Committee, the report claims that the pending health reform legislation would increase, not decrease, the typical family premiums.
“You could drive a truck through the holes in the industry’s argument here,” Cubria stated.
The report is flawed because, Cubria noted, it explicitly excludes many provisions in the bill that would bring down the cost of care, like delivery reforms, affordability tax credits, and increased competition in insurance exchanges.
A recent report from U.S. PIRG came to a conclusion that stands in stark opposition to the health insurance industry-funded document. The Three Trillion Dollar Question identified $2.8 trillion in potential economic savings from robust health reform.
In addition, the Commonwealth Fund and the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (PDF) have concluded separately that health reform could generate real reductions in national health spending.
“The scare-tactic claims in this report are pretty outlandish. This shows that the insurers must be getting desperate,” Cubria said.
TexPIRG has endorsed the health reform bills advanced by the House of Representatives and the Senate HELP Committee. Its recent Health Reform Report Card gave the Senate Finance bill a “B” for cost-containment, praising strong payment reforms but criticizing the lack of a strong public health insurance option.
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