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Medical insurance premiums are moving forward

WASHINGTON — As Americans move violently with double-digit hikes in their health insurance bills, millions are impending up against a hard reality: The state regulators that are academic to protect them can often do little to control what insurers are charging.
In a lot of states it is the insurance manufacturing that mainly controls the authoritarian procedure, funneling money to key state lawmakers and squelching efforts to expand government mistake of premiums, a assessment of state regulations and campaign donations shows. “The heaviness that the industry can transport to bear in state legislatures is astonishing,” said J. Robert Hunter, a previous insurance commissioner in Texas. “They pretty much obtain what they want.” And although the Obama administration’s health care overhaul is calculated to transform that, numerous consumer advocates fear the original law may not rupture insurers’ strong hold on state capitals soon enough.
A lot of us are scramble right now to competition the insurance industry’s influence,” said Larry C. McNeely II, health care advocate at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, whose state offices are squaring off alongside insurers countrywide.  Since 2003, insurance companies and HMOs have given more than $42 million in state-level movement contributions, often target lawmakers who sit on the committees that make a decision how much power regulators will have, according to campaign finance data analyzed by the Tribune Washington Bureau and the National Institute on Money in State Politics.
Now, consumer advocates and administration officials are urgently trying to spark new state efforts because the new health care law gives the federal government only limited power to regulate premiums, conventionally a state accountability. Insurance industry officials say added regulation is unnecessary. America’s Health Insurance Plans President Karen Ignagni, who heads the industry’s Washington-based lobbying arm, said many insurance companies fear that elected officials will simply exploit new authority.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010 at 6:51 am and is filed under Group Health Insurance, Health Insurance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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