The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Larry McNeely
Mobile: (571) 246-7063

Insurance CEOs, after Pocketing $1 Billion, Push to Weaken New Consumer Protections

Statement by U.S. PIRG Health Care Advocate Larry McNeely on the findings of the new Health Care for America Now report


months, lobbyists for big health insurers have mounted an all-out press to
weaken a provision in federal law requiring that insurers spend 80% of health
insurance premiums on care, not on themselves. Today's
report from Health Care for America Now, Breaking the Bank
(pdf) shows
us one reason why.

CEOs for the top ten health insurance companies
pulled down nearly $1 billion in total compensation over the last decade. In 2009, those same CEOs enjoyed a
167% increase in pay even as consumer premiums soared and the economy struggled.

insurance commissioners and the federal Department of Health and Human Services
must reject the arguments of the insurance lobby and craft regulations that
deliver lower costs and better value for consumers.

For a detailed look at U.S.
PIRG's position on this issue, you may find the comments which U.S. PIRG
submitted to federal regulators here.

U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.