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Anthem Inc. (BLUE CROSS) Announces Support For Senate Health Care Proposal

“We are committed to working with our government partners…”

One of America’s largest health insurance companies announced its support Monday for the Senate’s proposal to overhaul Obamacare.

Anthem Inc. issued a short statement outlining its view of the bill’s advantages:

“We believe the Senate discussion draft will markedly improve the stability of the individual market and moderate premium increases through substantial stability funding, appropriating cost-sharing reduction funds, aligning premium subsidies with premium costs, and eliminating the health insurance tax, which alone would result in a 3-to-5 percent premium decrease for our fully insured member.”

Anthem has said it will withdraw from Obamacare exchanges in Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio next year, citing uncertainty over the future of payments to insurers as a reason for leaving.

Anthem’s statement suggested the company would work with the government to slow the growth of Medicaid. Obamacare supported the expansion of Medicaid, something the Senate bill seeks to reverse.

“We are committed to working with our government partners now and into the future to navigate the challenges the current bill proposes to the Medicaid program, knowing how important it is to achieve the necessary funding and access to health care services and supports are for the individuals and families who rely on them to live healthy meaningful lives in their communities,” the company said.

On Monday, the BlueCross BlueShield Association, of which Anthem is a member, also said it supported the bill.

“The state stability and innovation program will also go a long way in helping to cover the costs of caring for those with significant medical needs,” it said in a statement.

Senate leaders, who unveiled the bill last week, are pushing for a vote before the upcoming July 4 recess.

“We need to do it this week before double-digit premium increases are announced for next year,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas.

However, the push for action is not welcomed by all.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., criticized the Senate leadership for “trying to jam this thing through.” Johnson is among those who have come out against the proposal.

In a bid to get more support behind the plan, its supporters Monday made a change to the bill that would bar from purchasing insurance those who allow their coverage to lapse. The goal of the change is to ensure that the pool includes healthier Americans who might be tempted to skip insurance, as well as those who are ill.

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