Main | Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Insurers Offer Reforms In Advance Of Obama's Coverage-For-All Plan

This is an interesting development.
The nation's health insurers offered Tuesday to stop basing people's premiums on their health and extend coverage to all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions — provided that everyone gets insurance. The suggestion from Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, came at a Senate hearing and in a Newsmaker session with USA TODAY. It marked the first time the insurance industry, which represents nearly 1,300 companies insuring more than 200 million people, has made such a proposal. Since calling for a major overhaul of the nation's health care system last month, President Obama has noted the cooperation of the system's major stakeholders: doctors and hospitals, businesses and consumers, drugmakers and insurance companies. Tuesday's proposal marked one of the first concrete steps forward in the process. "This is a major step, and it changes everything about how the market works," Ignagni told USA TODAY. Insurers, she said, are prepared to "offer coverage to everyone who applies."
The proposal hinges on a requirement that all Americans get health insurance, a system currently in place in Massachusetts only.

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