FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2010
KAGEN PUTS PATIENTS FIRST: VOTES TO END PRICE GOUGING BY
Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act levels the playing field
“I am sending a message to Wall Street: People are more important than profits,” said Dr. Kagen. “No longer will Wall Street run health corporations be allowed to gouge small business owners by manipulating insurance prices – they will now have to compete against one another for our hard earned dollars.
“This bold action, against the special interests on Wall Street, will begin to restore the free enterprise system in health care,” Dr. Kagen continued. “We want insurers to compete on a level playing field, and when they do, we will all be able to receive the highest quality care at the lowest possible price.”
Under the “Health Insurance Industry Fair Competition Act,” health insurers will no longer be protected from liability for price fixing, dividing up market territories, or bid rigging. During the last 14 years, there have been 400 mergers among health care insurers so that 95% of health insurance markets are “highly concentrated,” which means consumers have little or no choices between insurers. This non-competitive market has played a significant role in the sky-high prices we pay for health insurance premiums, which have doubled in the last decade.