Reed Abelson, in The New York Times (here), reports that support for a public option in the health care bill is growing among small businesses. The reason? According to Abelson, insurance companies are billing drastic premium increases to small businesses for the coming year. These are much larger than the incremental increases to be expected from rising medical costs, he says.
"Higher medical costs aside, some experts say they think the insurance industry, under pressure from Wall Street, is raising premiums to get ahead of any legislative changes that might reduce their profits.
The increases come at a politically fraught time for the insurers, as they try to fight off the creation of a government-run competitor and as they push their case that they have a central role to play in controlling the nation’s health care costs."
If the insurance companies succeed in creating enough support for a public option that it is implemented, and it proves to cost them business and revenues in the future, they can always go to work for the government. They will have proven they are dumb enough to fit in.
I thought that insurance industry spokesman who said a few weeks ago that government interference with new legislation could cost the American consumer up to $4,000 per individual per year in increased medical insurance premiums was dumb. I think you can now add "...and dumber".