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Companies fret over expanded government role

Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2009

Healthcare companies greeted a Senate healthcare bill compromise warily and were worried that a proposed expansion of Medicare would raise costs and result in greater government control of parts of the industry, the Wall Street Journal reports. Insurance companies expressed concern that the lower rates Medicare pays doctors and a requirement forcing the companies to pay out 90% of their premium income on medical benefits for policyholders could drive up costs. For drug companies, additional Medicare enrollees could mean that they would be paid at lower rates by the government than what private insurers pay for medicines, the Journal reports.