America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), one of the biggest players in the health reform debate, released a new TV ad today "supporting bipartisan reforms that Congress can build on":
AHIP wants reforms in which "the words preexisting condition become a thing of the past"--hitting on a major complaint reform backers have with health insurance companies. (Here's the website of its reform campaign.) TPM's Brian Beutler reports a seven-figure ad buy.
But while the group touts its support for reform, there's one problem, from the perspective of President Obama's reform-minded backers: the proposals that would get bipartisan support, at this point, aren't the ones many reformers want.
The White House has said it wants reform to be bipartisan, but, with 60 seats in the Senate and speculation that a few Democratic senators oppose the kind of reform it wants, the obstacle now seems to be getting all 60 Democrats on board. AHIP, for its part, has come out against a strong government plan with low reimbursement rates (Medicare rates, or Medicare rates plus 10 percent)--the mechanism by which more liberal reformists want to drive down costs and "force," as they put it, insurance companies to compete with the government-run or co-op plan.