Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston says a new report on health insurance industry profits shows the need for federal legislation to control health insurance rates.
The report, by Health Care for America Now! shows that health insurance companies are taking in record profits while giving consumers skimpier benefits.
“We’ve absolutely got to pass federal insurance rate review legislation in order to hold these insurance companies accountable and protect American consumers," Schakowsky said in a statement.
She said she and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California have introduced legislation, the Health Insurance Rate Authority Act, to do that.
She says 60 organizations, including The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Consumer Federation of America and the AFL-CIO, are backing the bill.
“Today’s report shows that in the first quarter of 2010, the five largest for-profit insurers raked in a combined net income of $3.2 billion, a 31 percent increase over last year, she said.
“This is totally unconscionable. While Americans are facing double-digit rate increases, these big insurance companies are simultaneously cutting their spending on actual medical care for consumers," she added.