Dour Industry Report Backfires

Dems, GOP alike have hard time believing Hail Mary predicting higher costs
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2009 10:14 AM CDT
A gavel and papers are seen at the seat of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The health insurance industry report presented yesterday that predicts the reform bill will do little to stop rising costs appears to have backfired. Dems are up in arms at the timing and content of the “misleading and harmful” attack from their erstwhile ally in the effort. Sen. Jay Rockefeller used the report—which he called “politicking for corporate gain at its worst”—to reiterate his call for “inclusion of a public health insurance option,” Politico notes.

Dems hope the knife in the back will rally support behind the compromise bill making its way through the Finance Committee, and there has been talk of “legislative payback.” “It is an incredibly stupid strategic blunder,” one aide says. Still, insiders predict supporters of the legislation will have to prove that industry taxes and a neutered federal mandate will, in fact, not drive up prices over the long run.