-- Health insurance premiums have increased 78% since 2001 compared to a 19% increase in wages and a 17% increase in inflation, according to the Kaiser report.
FTCR said that a hallmark of so-called 'individual mandate' proposals, like that already in place in Massachusetts, is high-cost polices that provide minimum benefit, bare-bones coverage. These policies do not adequately protect patients when they become sick.
"With $12,000 annual health insurance premiums fueling double-digit insurer profit increases, health reform must rein in insurance companies, not give them more control over our health care," said Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "Clinton's plan to require all Americans to buy health insurance would force people to choose between rent and health insurance, which could force people to go bankrupt if they make the wrong choice or turn into tax dodgers if they fail to buy unaffordable health insurance."
The nation's largest insurers reported double-digit profit increases for the second quarter of 2007:
-- WellPoint, the nation's largest insurer and parent company of Blue Cross of California, reported an 11% profit increase over 2006.
-- UnitedHealth, the second largest insurer and parent of PacifiCare of California, reported a 22% increase in earnings over 2006.
-- Aetna's profit was up 27% over 2006.
-- Health Net's profit increased 23.1% over 2006.
According to Weiss Ratings, between 2001 & 2005, HMOs and health insurers nationally have recorded more than $38 billion in profits -- enough money to provide health insurance to 12 million Americans for an entire year.
In 2005, medical bills were responsible for half of all bankruptcies.
Of the approximately 1 million Americans who file for bankruptcy each year
as a result of illness, three-quarters have insurance; most have college
degrees, are working and own their homes accordin
|SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights|
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