In the high-volume debate about heath care reform, one major player has been notably quiet: the health insurance industry. For the most part, the industry has given faint support to reform, but that changed this week. Health insurance companies are buying up ad time in a number of key states as part of a coordinated push to make sure their concerns remain part of the reform debate. We speak to Brad Fluegel, executive vice president and chief strategy and external affairs officer for the health insurer WellPoint. We hear also from Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesperson for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade group for insurance companies; and Jon Gruber, a health care economist at MIT who helped Massachusetts develop its universal health insurance plan.
EDITOR'S NOTE: After our segment aired, Jon Gruber disclosed that he has been paid at least $297,600 by the Department of Health and Human Services to model costs and effects of health care reform for the Obama Administration. We did not discover or disclose that in our interview.