Pelosi Talks Very Tough to Insurance Companies

HopeTracker| One can’t predict the evolution of this health care debate, but it seems that members of Congress were as aggravated with the grand stand move by insurance companies on Monday as many of us were.

Where there is no trust, hardball must be played. Besides reinvigorating talk of the public option, there’s another topic on the table. Nancy Pelosi, who has guts that make Harry Reid look like he should retire sooner, rather than later, singled out the antitrust exemption that has protected the insurance industry since 1945, the McCarran-Ferguson Act that allows states to regulate insurance without interference from the federal government.  (Don’t ask me where the heck that came from. So much for capitalism and free enterprise. This situation is a big issue in the state of New Jersey, where premiums are sky high.)

“There is tremendous interest in our caucus, and, in fact, the Judiciary Committee has had a hearing on ending the exemption,” said Pelosi.

But the key to driving down premium costs, she said, is for Congress to create a public insurance option to compete with private plans on the new exchanges that would be created under the reform bills for people who don’t have access to employer coverage. Pelosi said she would urge the House to adopt the toughest possible version of a public option, applying Medicare’s low reimbursement rates to it, to strengthen prospects that the provision would survive final negotiations with the Senate. via Washington Post