Insurance debate continues to heat up

October 5, 2009

As the insurance debate continues, more and more angles on the situation are pulled out. In the most recent news on the topic, a problem with insurance companies lobbying politicians is brought to attention. On the other side of the spectrum, a problem with Obama’s claims about health insurance companies is brought to attention.

As of right now, it is estimated that there are six lobbyists for every member of Congress to help insurance companies sway legislation. In recent months, 380 million has been spent by the industry and interest groups to influence health care legislation. A partner in the most powerful lobbying firm in Washington acknowledged that healthcare firms’ money “has had a lot of influence” and that it is “morally suspect”. These companies have defended themselves by stating that they are merely paying to educate the public and politicians on the topic.

Now, on the other side of things, the insurance companies are complaining that Obama is making claims that are not true. In particular, they are pointing out that Obama’s key point of making it illegal for insurance companies to drop a client after they become sick is already a law. In 1997, federal regulations were passed that prohibited insurance companies from raising the rates of a client or dropping them from coverage if they become ill.

The article also points out Obama‚Äôs claims that “no one holds these companies accountable for these practices.” Well, that is exactly what the State insurance commissioners are elected to do. There job requires them to observe the insurance market and enforce good-faith execution of insurance contracts.

Who is right in this situation? Are the insurance companies swaying the legislation or is Obama making these companies look worse then they are? As the debate rages on, there is no doubt that there will be more controversial conversations on the topic. It is up to the public to determine who really has their best interests in mind.

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