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How HHS is Stoking the Fires of Healthcare Reform Controversy

Jeff Elliott, for HealthLeaders Media, January 26, 2011

Health plans just want to make sure there are protections in place to keep masses of very sick people from bankrupting them. But the industry association had some strong words for HHS and its report.

"We have long agreed that the individual insurance market needs to be reformed," said Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for AHIP. "But this report significantly exaggerates the number of people whose coverage is impacted by pre-existing conditions." 

Zirkelbach informed HealthLeaders that most people get their coverage through their employer, which does not take into account pre-existing conditions. Further, he said that nine out of 10 individuals who apply for coverage in the individual market are offered a policy. And HHS's figures don't take into account that many individuals not part of an employer-sponsored or individual policy are eligible for public programs, such as Medicaid.

Not surprisingly, conservative think tanks opposed to what they like to call "Obamacare" similarly weighed in on HHS' analysis. A Heritage Foundation blog called the report's findings "misleading and wildly inaccurate," stating that HHS's report was akin saying, "because millions of Americans live within five miles of the seacoast, they risk being killed by the next hurricane if Congress cuts funding for the Army Corps of Engineers."

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2 comments on "How HHS is Stoking the Fires of Healthcare Reform Controversy"


Patrick Plemmons (1/27/2011 at 10:42 AM)
Let's be clear about the HHS statement: it was not "bold", it was a lie. A lie meant to deceive the public. Propaganda pure and simple. The obama administration is not interested in "reforming" healthcare, they want to own it and run it. This monstrosity of a law is their means to do so. Calling it "obamacare" is actually quite mild. An accurate description would be unprintable.

Just One of the ('Bad') Guys (1/26/2011 at 1:32 PM)
On behalf of the good folks who make their living turning the cogs and gears for the bad guys, thank you for sticking up for us. We're not perfect...far from it...bit the vast majority of us are in this industry for the same reasons as attending MDs, covering RNs and all other clinicians and their business and operational partners on the delivery side...to try and do the right thing. Sebelius is a hack, pure and simple...I have infinitely more respect for Dr. Berwick...who SHOULD be in Sebelius' chair...