Insurers: HC Reform Will Cost Americans More

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The last of five congressional proposals for health care reform is set for a vote in the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.

Yet some are accusing the health insurance industry of a last-second attack to manipulate the vote.

The White House says momentum for some sort of health care reform in Congress is now on its side, and even conservative commentators seem to agree.

"I think health care is going to pass, in some form," said Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal.

But the health insurance industry may be trying to blunt that momentum.

President Obama and his fellow reformers on Capitol Hill assure Americans the cost of their health care coverage will go down if a reform plan passes.

However, a new study commissioned by the health insurance industry warns coverage could go up hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.

A typical family now pays $12,300 a year for coverage.

The study predicts with reform, that same family would pay $25,900 a year for coverage by 2019 --more than double.

The Senate Finance Committee is set to vote Tuesday on its reform plan, and some Democrats are accusing the health insurance industry of trying to affect the vote at the last minute by putting out this study.

A key aide to Chairman Max Baucus labelled it "a health insurance company hatchet job, plain and simple."

A spokeswoman for the White House Office of Health Care Reform said, "This is a self-serving report paid for by opponents of health reform."

President Obama has often touted the fact the insurance industry was working with reformers, and his allies say the release of this study is a sudden stab in the back.

But the health insurers say the facts changed with Congress all of a sudden wanting to lessen the penalties it would charge Americans who don't get coverage.

If enough healthy Americans don't buy coverage, that will send the costs soaring for those who do buy it.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at