POLITICS
05/07/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

White House Seizes On Goldman Sachs Report Of Health Premiums Rising

The Obama administration is making a late push for health reform by seizing on a report showing that market concentration for health insurance is so monopolized that insurance companies are willing to raise prices and lose customers in an effort to help their bottom line.

In a blog post on Sunday, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said that the findings, which were put together by Goldman Sachs and first reported by the Huffington Post, presented clear evidence that health insurer "profits will continue to soar under the status quo."

The last few days have brought even more evidence that the health care status quo is working out great for the insurance companies - at the same time as it continues to fail American families and businesses. No wonder the insurance companies are spending millions and millions of dollars to block reform."

"On Wednesday, a leading insurance broker laid out in clear terms what many Americans could already guess: the insurers' monopoly is so strong that they can continue to jack up rates as much as they like - even if it means losing customers - and their profits will continue to soar under the status quo.

[snip]

What does it mean when the insurance companies "walk away?" It means more and more American families forced to choose between the mortgage and health care bills. It means being hospital visit away from certain bankruptcy. And for Mr. Lewis's clients - business owners - it means not being able to do the right thing for their employees.

Pfeiffer's post, an advance copy of which was provided to the Huffington Post, reflects a more aggressive effort on the part of the White House to turn news of premium hikes into political capital for the passage of health care reform. Elsewhere in the blog post, the communications director notes that a study by the Wall Street investment bank Cowen & Co. found that health insurance giant Wellpoint "would be a primary beneficiary" if health care legislation failed.