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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: When you get sick you go see your doctor, but that option either doesn’t exist or is becoming a lot more expensive for many people. More than 46 million Americans don’t have health insurance. That’s almost 16 percent of the population. Today the health insurance industry’s main lobbying group says it will announce a plan to provide access to health coverage for anyone who wants it. Marketplace’s Hillary Wicai has the story.
HILLARY WICAI: America’s Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP, has worked on the proposal for 7 months.
The group’s president says it will emphasize prevention and early intervention, which would signal a major departure from the way many insurers now approach illness.
Diane Rowland at the Kaiser Family Foundation says this is the industry’s way getting out in front of the debate, especially as some states work to come up with their own individual solutions.
DIANE ROWLAND:“We certainly see that Massachusetts and its commitment to going to universal coverage has sparked a renewed debate over how we insure all Americans. And I think the AHIP proposal is obviously their way of saying,’ let us put out a plan so you can react to our plan. We’d rather devise our own than be dictated as to how we do it.'”
Kaiser reports that despite signs of an improving economy, the percentage of the population with employer-sponsored insurance continued to decline last year.
In Washington, I’m Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.