THE PLANK OCTOBER 13, 2009
It's never a good sign when the firm you hired to conduct a policy analysis is publicly blaming you for its misleading nature barely a day later. Here's PricewaterhouseCoopers clarifying a few details about the controversial report they prepared for America's Health Insurance Plans:
America's Health Insurance Plans engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to prepare a report that focused on four components of the Senate Finance Committee proposal:
*Insurance market reforms and consumer protections that would raise health insurance premiums for individuals and families if the reforms are not coupled with an effective coverage requirement.
*An excise tax on employer-sponsored high value health plans.
*Cuts in payment rates in public programs that could increase cost shifting to private sector businesses and consumers.
*New taxes on health sector entities.
The analysis concluded that collectively the four provisions would raise premiums for private health insurance coverage. As the report itself acknowledges, other provisions that are part of health reform proposals were not included in the PwC analysis. The report stated on page 1:
"The reform packages under consideration have other provisions that we have not included in this analysis. We have not estimated the impact of the new subsidies on the net insurance cost to households. Also, if other provisions in health care reform are successful in lowering costs over the long term, those improvements would offset some of the impacts we have estimated."
Translation: Our study showed insurance premiums rising under the reform bill because AHIP told us to ignore all the elements of the bill that would lower premiums. But this is okay because we said as much in the intro.