Health Insurance Industry Report 'Not Worth The Paper It's Written On'

In an effort to derail reform, the health insurance industry released a report that was quickly discredited by experts as both incomplete and deeply flawed. The reviews are in:

John Rother, AARP Executive Vice President of Policy and Strategy:

The report is “fundamentally dishonest” and “not worth the paper it's written on.”

Len Nichols, health economist at the New America Foundation:

[This report] was paid for by people who are not interested in an objective analysis of the truth but are interested in a particular point of view being inserted into the political process right now.

Joint statement by Henry J. Aaron, Brookings Institution, David Cutler, Harvard University, Judy Feder, Georgetown University and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Elliott S. Fisher, Dartmouth Medical School, Arnold Milstein, Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California-San Francisco School of Medicine, Len Nichols, New America Foundation and Meredith Rosenthal, Harvard University:

…We believe the study is flawed and that the results are not credible. The AHIP study is misleading in several ways. First, it ignores critical elements of the insurance market reforms in the Senate Finance Committee bill that would protect people from many of the problems AHIP purports to analyze…it is important to note that most of the spending in the draft legislation will go for subsidies that directly lower the cost of health insurance for families and individuals with low or modest income. The report simply ignores this massive source of savings for millions of American households. Important issues are at stake in health reform. There is ample room for legitimate debate. But responsible participants in that debate should avoid selective use of evidence and try to preserve analytic balance.

Jonathan Gruber, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

Found the AHIP report deeply flawed. “If you literally take the data from the Congressional Budget Office you can see that individuals will be saving money in a nongroup market.”

Wendell Potter, former insurance industry executive turned whistleblower:

This is a desperation move on the part of the insurance industry, because analysts are now somewhat concerned … that the bill may not be absolutely everything that the industry wants, and that’s what’s driving this — Wall Street’s expectations that this bill may not be everything they’d hoped and prayed for.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research:

…the results of the study are quite suspect.

Ron Pollack, Executive Director of the consumer health organization Families USA:

The insurance lobby now claims that health care reform will cause significant premium increases, conveniently forgetting that they imposed significant premium increases during the past decade that are making health coverage unaffordable for families and businesses… The insurance lobby's scare tactics are ironic and deplorable. They are like a poker player who complains about his hand when, in fact, he is the dealer.

California Nurses Association:

Our legislators should respond to this bullying and stop coddling a useless industry whose sole function is to make enormous profits from the pain and suffering of patients while providing little in return.

Other Headlines:

CNN – Pushback grows against insurance industry report

New York Times — Democrats Call Insurance Industry Report Flawed

CBS NEWS – Insurers’ Health Reform Attack Draws Fire

Also read a reality check from the White House: The Health Insurance Lobby Deceives Seniors>>