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AHIP Reacts Unhappily To Reid Remarks

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Soon after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced today that health care reform legislation taking shape in the Senate would include a provision for a public insurance plan that would compete with private insurers, the top lobbyist for the health insurance industry called the milestone a roadblock.

"A new government-run plan would underpay doctors and hospitals rather than driving real reforms that bring down costs and improve quality," said Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, in a statement. "The American people want health care reform that will reduce costs and this plan doesn't do that.

"The divisive debate about a government-run plan is a roadblock to reform," Ignagni continued. "It's time we focus instead on broad-based reforms that will ensure the affordability and sustainability of our health care system."

AHIP spent $2.4 million lobbying the government over the summer, $6.3 million so far for the year.