Former Health Secretary Highlights Importance of Private Insurance in Healthcare Reform

Donna Shalala, Former Secretary of Health and Human Services, while addressing the America's Health Insurance Plans' annual conference, highlighted the importance of insurance industry in determining the fate of healthcare reform.

She stated that the insurance industry is one that will decide whether the healthcare reform will work as per expectations or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will at the end fail.

The session where she talked to the industry’s workers was named "A Way Forward: Next Steps for America's Health Care System".

She said that Americans did not vote for a Government takeover of healthcare, but that they dedicated themselves to the employer-based system and private delivery.

Also, apart from huge amount of money that has been planned to be spent on public insurance programs, the private insurers will be part of the very core of the healthcare reform, she added.

It is expected that the new law will spread insurance coverage to a 32 million people. Some part of the coverage will be contributed by the reduction in income “thresholds for enrollment in Medicaid”.

Also, millions of people will be dragged in to the private insurance plans, as part of exchanges till the year 2014.

For the private insurance companies to be allowed to sell the plans, certain standards will be set and the insurer will have to reach the same.