Health Insurance Industry Doubles Down On Promise To Increase Premiums

There is a new “study” [PDF] out today, this time paid for by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. It comes only days after the much talked about “study” from AHIP, and (surprise!) comes to very similar conclusions.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield conclusion is that premiums would increase even faster with reform, unless we do exactly what they want. What does the BCBS Assoc. want? A larger government fine for anyone who does not buy their product, the ability to charge older Americans dramatically more, and to have what qualifies as minimum health insurance scaled back even farther.

I don't put any stock in these industry sponsored studies, but I suspect that this will become the new line of attack from the right against reform. If the message that reform will increase premiums for those who already have health insurance insurance gains traction, it could be politically very damaging.

The real fear for the Democrats should be when more legitimate organizations start to examine the issue. There is a lot of waste that could be cut from our system, but the White House cut secret sweetheart deals to, shall we say, shield both the hospitals and the drug companies from serious reform. It is tough to really reduce costs with reform when hundreds of billions in potential savings have been taken off the table.

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