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Word from the White House: Another Day, Another Self-serving Analysis from the Insurance Industry

Like the AHIP report from earlier this week, the Blue Cross Blue Shield report is hard to take seriously.

It's no secret that institutions of all stripes focus their communications on certain messages day to day. We thought it would all be a little more open and transparent if we went ahead and published what our focus will be for the day, along with any related articles, documents, or reports.

Supporting article: "Yes, It's Another Fishy Insurance Study," The New Republic, 10/14/09

Talking Points: Blue Cross Blue Shield Report

  • Another day, another self-serving and deeply flawed analysis from the insurance industry.
  • Like the AHIP report from earlier this week, the Blue Cross Blue Shield report is hard to take seriously.
    • It comes at a time when we’re closer than ever to reform that will rein in some of the industry’s worst practices.
    • And it ignores critical provisions included in the Senate Finance Committee bill.
  • The reality is that the Congressional Budget Office and other independent analysts confirm that the current Senate Finance Committee health reform proposal will lower health care premiums in the exchange and make health insurance more affordable for families.
    • MIT Economics professor Jon Gruber recently conducted analyses based on the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office model to show that the bill will deliver savings for people purchasing health care in the nongroup insurance market, ranging from several hundred dollars for the youngest consumers to over $8500 for families.
  • In order to reach the skewed conclusion it was looking for, the Blue Cross Blue Shield selectively ignores key provisions including:
    • The impact that tax credits provided in the bill would have on out-of-pocket costs.
    • Special policies for young adults, who BCBS claims will be hit hard, including premium credits and the choice of a special "young invincibles" plan that has a low premium.
    • Benefits of risk pooling and increased administrative efficiencies of an exchange, which the non-partisan CBO says will reduce premiums.
    • Investments in prevention, reducing waste, and other policies that independent analysts say will help bend the long-term health cost curve.