If Obamacare Falters, Insurers May Pay High Price

Lawrence J. McQuillan | The Independent Institute | October 14, 2013

America’s health insurance companies sold out for higher profits when they fought for the Affordable Care Act rather than a patient-driven system that would best serve the sick.

Big insurers were omnipresent during the health care negotiations. Their most effective negotiator was Karen Ignagni, CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s leading lobby. Washingtonian magazine called her one of the top three “Top Guns” of all trade association heads—and she proved it.

In March 2009, Ignagni promised President Barack Obama: “You have our commitment to play, to contribute and to help pass health care reform this year.” And play she did.

Ignagni and AHIP members participated in hundreds of meetings and spent millions of dollars to shape the final bill. Between January 2007 and August 2012, the political action committees of AHIP and the 11 largest health insurance companies gave $10.2 million to federal politicians, according to Federal Election Commission filings.