Wellpoint statement on Obama health care proposal

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Wellpoint issued the following statement about President Obama's speech to Congress Wednesday on health care reform:

The President had a pragmatic tone and expressed a desire to get health reform passed. WellPoint agrees we need to work together to get health care reform passed this year. In fact, in his speech, the President agreed with many of the proposals we and the health insurance industry put forward last year to reform the health insurance market. However, we are disappointed that the President stopped short of addressing health care reform. In order to implement sustainable, responsible health care reform, we must address the escalating costs and uneven quality of our health care delivery system as well as reform health insurance practices.

The President called for truth and honesty in the discussion. We agree with the President, however we disagree with the President's continued mischaracterization of the health insurance industry. Health insurer profits account for less than one percent of every health care dollar, insurers are committed to developing innovative products with a range of affordable prices, and we have been leading the effort to increase access to preventive services and wellness programs designed to improve the health of our members.

WellPoint and the private health insurance industry were some of the first to the table with meaningful reforms to sustain our insurance and health delivery systems for the long term. Implemented together, these reforms would make a government-run health plan unnecessary while allowing the private industry to continue to drive innovation for all Americans.