The GOP Lawmaker Who’s Shaping The Obamacare Repeal Will Address Delighted Insurance Lobbyists

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BY: Lee Fang 03.07.17

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The powerful trade group that lobbies on behalf of the health insurance industry, America’s Health Insurance Plans, has much to celebrate as it holds its national health policy conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington this week.

Among other changes long sought by the industry, the draft Republican proposal for a health care overhaul released on Monday would allow insurers to charge older American more for their premiums and rewrite tax law to make it easier for insurance firms to pay executives even higher pay.

Not surprisingly, one of the AHIP conference’s keynote speakers on Thursday will be Congressman Kevin Brady, the Texas Republican who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, which starts marking up the bill on Wednesday morning.

The trade group represents the largest health insurance companies in America, including Cigna, Humana, Kaiser, Blue Shield of California, and Anthem.

The new Republican legislation, called the American Health Care Act, includes sweeping changes sought by health insurance companies.

The proposal, for instance, shifts the age ratio for premiums, allowing insurance companies to charge older Americans up to five times as much as young people. The AARP, in a letter to legislators, notes that the new 5:1 ratio could cost the average 64-year-old on a silver plan an additional $2,100 per year. Under the Affordable Care Act, the premium cap was 3:1.

AHIP specifically recommended a move to the 5:1 ratio.