Yesterday, during an interview with Bloomberg Radio, Karen Ignagni — the President and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) — reiterated insurers’ commitment to reforming the health insurance marketplace:
That’s what people want. They want to be in. They don’t want to be rejected because of preexisting conditions, and they want to make sure they have continuity of care. We’ve committed to that. That’s what our industry is doing. We are one of the first to step up and offer real change that affected our industry. And we’re still committed to that.
While the insurance industry has publicly supported regulations that would guarantee everyone coverage and outlaw pre-exising condition exclusions, Ignagni may be overstating the industry’s commitment to so-called “market reform.” On June 16, despite Ignagni pledges of commitment, insurance executives from UnitedHealth Group, Assurant, and WellPoint specifically refused to “commit” to ending the controversial practice of rescinding coverage after an applicant files a medical claim. Watch a compilation of Ignagni’s claim and insurers’ refusal to end rescission:
As former health insurance executive Wendell Potter argues, insurers seek to “drive down” costs by refusing to insure “unhealthy people,” a tactic borne out by the fact that 47 million Americans currently lack health insurance. The “insurance industry has been one of the most successful, in beating back any kinds of legislation that would hinder or affect the profitability of the companies,” said Potter. The Wonk Room has more.