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Senate Republicans Oppose Government Option in Health Care

A group of Senate Republicans sent a letter to President Obama on June 8, declaring their opposition to including a government-run plan in a health-care...
June 9, 2009

A group of Senate Republicans sent a letter to President Obama on June 8, declaring their opposition to including a government-run plan in a health-care overhaul, saying it would be a "federal government takeover" of the health system. "Creating a brand-new government program will not only worsen our long-term financial outlook but also negatively impact American families who enjoy the private coverage of their choice," said the letter from nine Republicans who are working on bipartisan health-care legislation. Obama said last week in a letter to Senate Democrats that he "strongly" supports offering a government-run insurance program to compete with private coverage. Democrats in the House and Senate have said such a program will be included in their legislation.

PIA has joined industry colleagues in a coalition effort to shape health care reform. PIA has signed a letter that the coalition sent to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (IA). The letter addresses a proposal in the policy paper that suggested that agents and brokers selling health insurance products be subject to a regulated commission schedule modeled on the Medicare Advantage commission requirements. The coalition letter states: "[I]t should be the individual private health insurance carriers that determine the amount of any commission paid to agents and brokers, as well as how those commissions should be paid as a function of health plan operations."

In addition to PIA, signers of the coalition letter include The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB), the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) and IIABA.

What It Means to Agents:  As the debate over health care reform moves into high gear on Capitol Hill, PIA's focus will remain on ensuring that the interests of professional insurance agents are protected as proposals are considered.

GOP Letter to Obama Opposes Public Health Plan (Bloomberg 6/8/09)

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