An insurance company’s study of Senate health care reform claims it would lead to higher rates for young customers and small businesses. Brad Fluegel, VP, Chief Strategy and External Affairs Officer for WellPoint says the research is based off of the anticipated merging of the Senate Labor and Finance Committees’ proposals. It crunches numbers in 14 states, like Wisconsin, where Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield operates.
The insurer supports the requirement that all Americans carry some type of health coverage, language that is in all committee approved bills in Congress. The idea is to encourage routine care rather than allow health problems to worsen, thus causing more expensive procedures. However Fluegel says the Senate version would discourage young people from carrying insurance because it would be too costly.
Wellpoint also supports the mandate that insurance companies cover despite pre-existing conditions.
Scott Mulhauser, a senior adviser on the Senate Finance Committee, was critical of the research saying it ignores key elements in the bill. He told the Wall Street Journal, “This is akin to the tobacco companies commissioning another study claiming nicotine isn’t addictive and cigarettes don’t cause cancer.”