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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield In Missouri Urges Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Christopher S. Bond to Not Support the Current Senate Health Care Reform Legislation
Date:12/20/2009

New Manager's amendment holds tax burdens that will raise Missouri premiums and subsidize other states

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, Senator Reid released his Manager's amendment to the health care reform legislation currently being discussed in the U.S. Senate. One provision in the amendment involved the $6.7 billion annual tax that will be levied on the health insurance industry. As the Congressional Budget Office has stated, this tax will get passed on to consumers through higher premiums. In his amendment, Senator Reid put forth that non-profit health insurance companies will be exempt from this tax--in essence leaving for-profit plans, and their members, to shoulder the entire tax burden.

What does this mean to the more than 3 million Missourians that have health insurance provided by for-profit companies?

It means that our state will be burdened by a disproportionate share of the $6.7 billion tax. This increase will directly impact Missouri's insured population and will cause premium amounts to increase even more under this legislation. Because a greater percentage of Missourians (about 83 percent) are insured by for-profit companies than the national average, Missouri taxpayers will be forced to subsidize other states that have lower enrollments in for-profit health insurers.

Any proposal to tax only for-profit health plans will further exacerbate the unlevel playing field for not-for-profit plans, without improving access to health benefits coverage or enhanced health services. While some plans are not-for-profit, that does not mean they are not "profitable." Insurers are required to generate a "net income" in order to help ensure they can pay future claims by members. Not-for-profit simply reflects a tax status under the Internal Revenue Service Code. In many states, the net income on a per-member, per-month (PMPM) basis for
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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Missouri
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