Lipinski Chides Health Insurance Industry for Flawed Study10/13/2009
Lipinski Calls for Independent Analysis, Citing His Continuing Concern that Proposed Bills Won't Rein In Costs
Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) today criticized the lobbying group America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) for issuing a flawed analysis that concluded that the Senate Finance Committee's health care reform bill would result in a significant increase in insurance premiums. But Congressman Lipinski remains concerned that the reform proposals under discussion do not do nearly enough to drive down the surging cost of health care and thus will not result in lower premiums.
"The biggest problem with our health care system is that costs are out of control," Lipinski said. "Now more than ever, people are struggling to pay for the care and coverage they need to stay healthy. While some faulty assumptions in AHIP's study raise further doubts about the integrity of the health insurance industry, the study highlights the need for an independent analysis that explains exactly what impact existing health insurance reform proposals would have on costs in general and insurance premiums in particular. The cure for our health care system should not be worse than the disease. Reform must bring costs back down to earth and make insurance coverage more affordable and accessible, without adding to America's already swollen deficit."
Since he was first elected, Congressman Lipinski has made it a top priority to improve our health care system so it works for the well being of all Americans, not just for the profits of the health care industry. Congressman Lipinski has introduced a number of bills to reform the health care system and lower costs, and has continuously worked to improve the health care reform bills Congress is considering.
Lipinski's Hospital Price Transparency and Disclosure Act (H.R. 2566) requires hospitals to disclose the prices they charge for common procedures and medications. Making this information widely available to consumers would help drive down costs by increasing competition among providers. He also authored H.R. 2917 and H.R. 3205, which would abolish the tax breaks for advertising and promotion by pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, saving taxpayers at least $6.3 billion annually and eliminating an indefensible subsidy that rewards these industries for promotions that - in the case of drug companies - lead to unnecessary health care spending. Congressman Lipinski also helped introduce The Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act (H.R. 684), which would allow the government to negotiate for lower drug prices for Medicare recipients.
"Certainly AHIP's flawed study serves to remind us that we need to change the way health insurers do business by preventing them from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions and from dropping coverage for people who get seriously ill," Lipinski said. "It should also force everyone who believes reform is necessary, as I do, to make sure that the legislation heading toward a vote will work as advertised and tackle the biggest problem with our health care system today: the ever-increasing cost of care. Reform that only adds to costs, instead of lowering them, is no reform at all."
(October 13, 2009)