Health insurers are stepping up their lobbying efforts in light of the nation’s health care system debate. INN reported yesterday that a letter from President Obama provides some solid clues about the direction of the debate over health care reform. The letter, addressed to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D. – Mont.) and Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee Chairman Edward Kennedy (D. - Mass.), contained support for a public health care option operating alongside private insurance plans.
“I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans,” Obama wrote. “This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest.”
Five large private insurers and the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans spent a total of $6.4 million in the first quarter on lobbying efforts, The Associated Press reports.
The news outlet got their hands on numerous disclosure reports and reported that:
Though not one of the five mentioned in the $6.4 million, MetLife Inc. spent nearly $1.2 million lobbying in the first quarter on legislation related to health insurance, overhauling the health care system, home mortgages, financial regulations and other issues, a recent disclosure report shows.
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