What kind of health care coverage does the nation's top health insurance lobbyist have? Her trade group refuses to say.
Karen Ignagni is the health insurance industry's main defender in Washington. As the president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the industry's lobby, she represents all the big insurance companies: WellPoint, Aetna, UnitedHealth, and CIGNA, among others. As such, she's one of the leading opponents of the so-called public option--a proposed government-run health care plan that would compete with private plans as a way of lowering costs. AHIP recently organized 50,000 insurance company employees to fan out to congressional town hall meetings to fight the public option, which the industry views as a major threat to its bottom line. They recognize that without having to pay enormous executive salaries or hire corporate jets, the government-run plan might be cheap enough to steal away a big chunk of their business.