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robinblue Donating Member (385 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 08:06 AM
Original message
Health Insurance Companies Try to Shape Rules

I recall one of Obama's primary speeches during the campaign was his one's against lobbyist's--over and over.
Yet, they rule DC!!




http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/health/policy/16healt...
Health Insurance Companies Try to Shape Rules
By ROBERT PEAR
Published: May 15, 2010



WASHINGTON Health insurance companies are lobbying federal and state officials in an effort to ward off strict regulation of premiums and profits under the new health care law.
Enlarge This Image
Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

The health insurance industry has shifted its focus from opposing health care reform, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV said.

The effort is, in some ways, a continuation of the battle over health care that consumed Congress last year.

Insurance lobbyists are trying to shape regulations that will define unreasonable premium increases and require them to pay rebates to consumers if the companies do not spend enough on patient care.

For their part, consumer groups say they worry that their legislative victories could be undone or undercut by the rules being written by the federal government and the states.

The health care overhaul provides a classic example of how the impact of a law depends on regulations needed to interpret it. The rules deal with relatively technical questions but go to the heart of the law, pushed through Congress by President Obama and Democratic leaders with no Republican support.

More than 40 provisions of the law require or permit agencies to issue rules. Lobbyists are focusing on two whose stated purpose is to ensure that consumers get value for their dollars.

One bars insurers from carrying out an unreasonable premium increase unless they first submit justifications to federal and state officials. Congress did not say what is unreasonable, leaving that to rule writers.

Another provision, effective Jan. 1, requires that a minimum percentage of premium dollars be spent on true medical costs related to patient care not retained by insurers as profit or used to cover administrative expenses. Insurers must refund money to consumers if they do not meet the standards, known as minimum loss ratios. ................
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 08:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. hell -- he's hired lobbyists for his Admin
It's that *Change you can believe in*

The change will be tossed out the windows of the limos as they drive past the unemployed and poor.
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alc Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. this is one of the scariest parts of the bill
Edited on Sun May-16-10 09:56 AM by alc
requires that a minimum percentage of premium dollars be spent on true medical costs related to patient care not retained by insurers as profit or used to cover administrative expenses


Their profit are now directly tied to our premium through legislation, and the higher our premiums, the more their profit.

At some point, the insurers may realize that the best (only) way to increase their profits is to increase "medical costs". They'll justify the premium increases because costs went up and they need "some profit" and our premium goes up. And instead of controlling medical costs this bill will drive costs up.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. Wow, never saw that coming. Until we reform lobbying, all is lost. nm
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 01:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. "Try" to shape rules?
:rofl:
The Lobbyists and Lawyers for the Health Insurance Industry WROTE the damned things.
They already KNOW the location and exploitation of every exclusion, loop hole, trap door, Trojan Horse, ambiguous wording, and contradictory clause in the 2200 page labyrinth.


Anyone who supported the HCR SELLOUT because it "regulates the Insurance Industry" is going to be stunningly disappointed.
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nightrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-10 01:51 PM
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5. knr. huh! who could have predicted?! (many of us did)
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