The official statement
given by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the trade group that represents the nation’s health insurance companies, regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that it will “expand access to coverage and take steps toward delivery system reform, but will raise costs and disrupt coverage for individual market customers, employers, and seniors.
While AHIP has voiced limited support for certain provisions of the ACA — including expanding coverage to uninsured Americans and reforming the Medicare and Medicaid delivery systems by moving away from the fee-for-service (FFS) structure — it nevertheless has severe criticisms of many of the ACA’s provisions, specifically those related to guaranteed issues and the low penalties for those who choose not to purchase insurance.
AHIP also objects to the fact that many of the reforms go into effect simultaneously in 2014, which it says could potentially result in “significant destabilization of insurance markets in many states, particularly for those who rely on individual and small group coverage.” Finally, AHIP believes that the health reforms do not do enough to control rising medical costs, and that “ACA coverage expansion will not be sustainable until policymakers and stakeholders take meaningful steps to reduce the rate of growth in medical costs.”
AHIP's members include 1,300 companies that provide insurance to more than 200 million Americans. AHIP’s purpose is to “support public policies at the federal and state levels that promote access to high-quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans in a competitive marketplace that fosters choice, quality and innovation.” It has a staff of at least 20 lobbyists, and in 2009 and 2010 its lobbying expenditures totaled $8.9 million and $9.3 million, respectively.
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