CNN's Christine Romans Calls Health Care Reform Estimate 'Impossible'

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an insurance lobbying group, just released its own cost estimate of the health care reform bill currently in the Senate Finance Committee’s hands.

CNN’s Christine Romans criticized the report calling it a “bomb,” and the figures “impossible,” while admitting that costs are hard to determine because the package is “so big with so many moving parts.”

“At the eleventh hour you’ve got the health insurance lobby that’s come out of left field here and dropped a bomb in the whole debate saying it’s gonna cost American families a lot more – your coverage is gonna be more expensive. Either way your coverage – your costs are going up right? But the insurance lobby is saying, ‘No, it’s gonna go up even faster under this Senate Finance Committee version of the bill,” Romans said.

Accoriding to Romans, AHIP estimated that insurance coverage for an individual would be $1,500 more expensive per year by 2019 and $4,000 more expensive for a family.

Romans immediately tried to discredit AHIP’s figures, which were generated by PricewaterhouseCoopers, saying: “Fact checking these numbers, I just think it’s impossible. I’m telling you that these, this insurance thing, this health reform is so big with so many different moving parts that um, we are all pretty much really trying to take on faith what we think how all the pieces are gonna work. There’s just a lot of uncertainty still.”

Co-host John Roberts also threw in a dig at the group in defense of the administration saying, “The White House very upset about this, they feel like they were sandbagged by the health insurance industry.”

“A lot of supporters, a lot of Democrats are saying this is just dropping a bomb for the sake of dropping a bomb. They’re real angry,” Romans replied. ‘

On Oct. 7 the Congressional Budget Office said that the Senate plan, also known as the Baucus bill, would cost $829 billion over a decade and trim the federal budget deficit by $81 billion. Michael Tanner, Cato Institute’s senior fellow, criticized the bill and the CBO’s estimate calling it “misleading.”

Tanner said that the $829 billion price tag is for 2010-2019, “but the most expensive provisions of the bill don’t take effect until July of 2013.”

“The cost over the bill’s first 10 years of actual operation is closer to $1.3 trillion,” Tanner said before explaining the tax increases in the bill which would likely lead to higher insurance premiums.


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