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After Another Threat, It's Time To Stand Up To The Health-insurance Industry

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has released their own version of the AHIP propaganda report. By releasing a transparently hyperbolic and self

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association has released their own version of the AHIP propaganda report.

By releasing a transparently hyperbolic and self-serving study on the effects of health reform, the insurance industry appears to have blundered in a big way. They discredited themselves in the eyes of the media elite, alienated potentially sympathetic members of Congress, and rallied Democrats around a common foe.

So what are they doing now? They seem to be trying the same stunt again, with a brand new study. It's not as deceptive as the last one. But it's not going to win any points for intellectual honesty, either.

This time the study's sponsor is the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), rather than America's Health Insurance Programs. The hired gun accounting firm is Oliver Wyman, instead of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. But the message is the same as before: Pass reform, as currently envisioned, and insurance premiums will go way up...read on

Cohn thinks this report is slightly better than the last one, but they both end the same. If we implement health care reform they promise to raise your rates. Why isn't the media reporting this? They are threatening American lives and families and this should not be tolerated.

Digby also catches this and is not a happy camper about it either.

Can someone please explain to me why this isn't a blatant threat? Nice little health care system you have here. Be a shame if anything happened to it.

In a normal country, this kind of corporate threat, in which they openly say that unless they get their way, they will raise premiums sky high and make everyone suffer, would be considered criminal. After all, premium pricing is entirely in their hands --- and that's why we are in the terrible situation we are in today.

This is f*&king criminal. I'm sitting here and having a nice dream. I see Harry Reid acting like a real majority leader telling Congress that this is unacceptable. And then he fades to black and I'm transported to the House of Representatives. They are spending the day rebuking these reports for the phonies that they are and they pass legislation that makes it a criminal offense with a maximum of up to three years in jail for any lobby-bastards who put out bogus reports that are circulated to intimidate Americans. Now this is a fantasy I know, but they do spend hours of time making dedications of parks to the rich and famous people and in my fantasy they spend a couple of hours and threaten all groups that actively work to undermine legislation with lies.

And Alan Grayson leads the charge.

By the way, PricewaterhouseCoopers took so much heat for their frakked up AHIP report that they issued this statement.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the authors of AHIP's report, put out a statement last night that basically said, "Hey, we weren't paid to evaluate the effects of the entire bill, but rather a small slice of it." The statement only seems to reinforce critics' view that the report is skewed precisely because it doesn't take into account the totality of reform. PwC's report estimates that insurance premiums will rise faster under the proposed reforms than under the current system.

The last, and key, line from the statement: "If other provisions in health care reform are successful in lowering costs over the long term, those improvements would offset some of the impacts we have estimated.”

In other words, PwC is saying if reform's cost containment measures work, their estimate could be wrong.

So they are admitting that AHIP were liars. Nice.

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