Navigation Links
Consumer Group Finds Use of Outdated Data and Other Major Flaws in Economist's Defense of Mandatory Purchase of Private Health Insurance

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A consumer group today released a critique of a report by MIT economist Jonathan Gruber supporting mandatory purchase of private insurance which used 30-year-old data to show that most Americans are "over-insured" and to defend the affordability of the plan.

Download the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights' (FTCR) critique of Gruber's report:

FTCR identified major flaws in Gruber's report, including that it:

-- Relies on 30-year old data to conclude that most people are "over-insured," utilizing too much health care unless they face punitive co-pays and deductibles. However, this study is both out-of-date and flawed by the unrepresentatively low out-of-pocket costs of the plans studied. Today, yearly premiums for a family of four top $12,000 annually, and over the past six years, the amount families pay out-of-pocket each year for their share of premiums has increased by about $1,500. Nearly one out of four Americans under the age of 65 -- 61.6 million people -- is in a family that will spend more than 10% of its pre-tax income on health care costs in 2008.

-- Relies on an out-of-date health insurance profit and overhead figure of 12% and avoids discussing the explosion in insurer profitability since 2000. Some experts say that up to 50% of overall health spending now goes to clinical and insurer administrative waste, inflated prices, and fraud by doctors and hospitals.

-- Relies on unsubstantiated notions, originated by insurers themselves, that requiring Americans to buy unaffordable and poor quality health insurance policies is a necessary component of reform.

-- Assumes that the insurance market is highly competitive, ignoring extreme market consolidation that will inevitably lead to higher prices and skimpier benefits, as the Massachusetts experience is already demonstrating. Since 1994, there have been more than 400 mergers of managed health care companies. The nation's two largest health insurers, WellPoint and UnitedHealth, control 33 percent of the U.S. commercial health insurance market. In 280 of the 294 U.S. markets, one health insurer accounts for at least 30 percent of the combined HMO/PPO market.

The mandatory purchase proposal became part of the national debate on health care reform after Massachusetts passed such a law last year. California legislators voted down a similar proposal in January, and other states are considering the plan.

Gruber has acknowledged the Massachusetts program's failure to make health care affordable, arguing that the solution is higher financial penalties against consumers. "The mandate has to be enforced," Gruber told the Boston Globe, saying that "[w]e need to think beyond what looks mean and do what's right."

FTCR is a nonprofit and nonpartisan public interest watchdog. For more information, visit us on the web at

SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Transitions Optical Promotes Healthy Sight Through a Nationwide Integrated Advertising Campaign and the Launch of an Enhanced Consumer Web Site
2. Review of online breast cancer information encourages healthy skepticism for consumers
3. Legal Employer Provides Companies with Competitive Edge by Assuring Consumers that Workers are Legally Documented
4. Integrated Laser Therapies Launches, Offers Low-power, Therapeutic Laser Devices and Training for Therapists and Consumers
5. Consumer Reports Poll: Americans Demand Health Reform But Are Unsure About How to Achieve it
6. Smart Home Cleaning: New Web Site Educates Consumers on Looking Clean Versus Being Clean
7. Linda Ellerbee to Present Keynote at URACs Best Practices in Consumer Empowerment and Protection Awards Program
8. Concentric Launches New Consumer Division, Names Mike Devlin EVP, Managing Director
9. Consumer Driven Healthcare Continues To Make Its Mark on Indianapolis Market
10. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Says Guaranteed Access Provisions of Insurance Reform Bills Protect Michigan Consumers Twice-Over
11. American Legacy Foundation Comments on New York State Department of Health Petition to the FDA to Expand Consumer Access to Over the Counter Nicotine Medications
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... In an ongoing Clinical Study conducted by an independent physician, Andrew Gostine, ... evaluating the efficacy of its product and its disinfection protocol. This study is taking ... 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, acute-care, academic medical center located in Chicago, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Silver Spring, Md (PRWEB) , ... November 25, ... ... the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups ... the history of this disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Many people know of the ... gain, cold hands, and dry skin. But many people who find their cholesterol levels ... regimen instead of their thyroid, especially if they don’t have any of the other ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Bunion Bootie , ... early celebration of the early holiday shopping season. Starting Wednesday November 25th, Bunion ... ea). Black Friday promotional pricing is in addition to any automatic discounts applied ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... New patients who wish to seek treatment for missing teeth can ... her Mississauga, ON practice. Dr. Williams has been providing dental service for over 34 ... Missing teeth can lead to a variety of complications if they are not replaced ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... November 25, 2015 The hope ... repeated failure of IVF cycles. After failure of over ... and had lost all hopes that she would be able to conceive ever. ... child conceived after failure of over 15 IVF cycles. ... before they decided to take one last attempt with Gaudium IVF ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Thanks to a donor with a personal ... Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli Center for Women,s Health now ... San Francisco . Fred ... with a gift of $617,320 that allowed the Center ... Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast Ultrasound. Tomosynthesis, three-dimensional (3-D) mammography ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Colo. , Nov. 24, 2015  Array ... that its Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer ... Healthcare Conference in New York.  The public is ... webcast on the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual ... , Wednesday, December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: