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Consumer Watchdog: Health Insurers & Drug Companies Contributed $5.5 Million to Top 10 Senate and House Recipients Since 2005
Date:3/9/2009

y purchase of health insurance. As a candidate, President Obama promised to provide a "public" health care option to any American as an alternative to private health insurers. At times, Obama has discussed "the public option" as though it would be a stand-alone plan like Medicare, which directly pays doctors and hospitals. The option to join Medicare, regardless of age, would be beneficial to Americans because by almost every measure, Medicare is cheaper and more effective than private plans, according to government and academic research. For example, Medicare spends 2% of revenue on overhead; private insurers typically spend 25% to 27% for overhead and profit. Health insurers heavily oppose giving Americans of any age access to Medicare.

Insurers, on the other hand, support a plan to require all Americans to buy private health insurance policies. Under this model, the government would not regulate what insurers could charge for a policy or guarantee minimum benefits.

Read Consumer Watchdog's letter to the U.S. Senate describing the benefits of a "public option" giving universal access to Medicare and the pitfalls of the individual mandate: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org/resources/SenateLetter.pdf

Prescription Drug Reform

Central to the health reform debate for drug companies is whether Medicare will be allowed to negotiate bulk discounts on prescription drugs. Currently the program is barred from doing so. President Obama has pledged to allow Medicare to bulk purchase, which would require Congress to pass a new law. Drug companies strongly oppose such a change.

Polls

A national poll in December 2008 conducted by the marketing survey company CARAVAN for Consumer Watchdog found that only 16% of U.S. voters support, and 53% oppose, requiring eve
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SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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