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April 22, 2005

The Sick Get Sicker

The House has repeatedly passed bills to create "Association Health Plans", interstate health plans for small businesses that are exempt from state consumer laws.

But even some conservative Senators have questioned the proposal, and witnesses at a hearing ripped into them:

Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, also called AHPs a bad idea that could result in higher rates for many small firms.

"While low rates initially may seem attractive to small businesses with a healthy workforce, if one of their workers developed a significant illness, they would face a rate hike from the AHP the following year," she testified. "Ultimately the result would be a market in which a shrinking portion of healthy business would be covered by the AHP while businesses whose workers have significant health needs would be driven out of the AHP."

So the healthy would get healthier and the sick would get sicker-- just a variation on the conservative theme we are all too familiar with.

Posted by Nathan at April 22, 2005 06:34 AM