"Nonpartisan" Front For Insurers Has Been Widely Cited

"Nonpartisan" Front For Insurers Has Been Widely Cited
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The Lewin Group, exposed by the Washington Post as a subsidiary of an insurance company, has been widely cited as an objective, nonpartisan source of information by those opposed to the creation of a public health insurance option.

In particular, after an April 2009 report by the Lewin Group alleging that a public option would force roughly 120 million Americans off their current insurance plan, Republicans, conservatives and insurance companies frequently touted that figure.

In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, a spokesperson for America's Health Insurance Plans used it as ammunition against a public option.

Minority Whip Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) cited it in a syndicated op-ed earlier this month, saying: "Yet the nonpartisan Lewin Group predicts that two out of three Americans who get their health care through their employer would lose it under the House Democrat plan."

Early in June, leading Republicans sent President Obama a letter declaring their opposition to the public option, citing the Lewin group's study as evidence that it "would result in as many as 119.1 million Americans losing their private coverage."

On June 9, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said that "you would expect to see 120 million Americans without health insurance if a public option went into competition."

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) argued on May 12, 2009, that a public health care plan "will deprive roughly 120 million Americans of their current health care coverage."

This week, House Minority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote on his website: "...As the Lewin Group has found, it [the public plan] would be more like an "offer you can't refuse," since over 100 million Americans would lose their private insurance."

On May 21, 2009, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote on the official GOP website: "Estimates from independent actuaries at the Lewin Group suggest that well over half of all Americans currently with employer-sponsored health coverage -- nearly 120 million individuals-would lose their current coverage due to the creation of a government-run health plan."

And the conservative media has run with this, too.

Karl Rove, in a June 2009 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal titled How To Stop Socialized Health Care, wrote: "The Lewin Group estimates 70% of people with private insurance -- 120 million Americans -- will quickly lose what they now get from private companies and be forced onto the government-run rolls."

In arguments against the public option, the Weekly Standard referenced the Lewin Group's report, while the Washington Times cited the 120 million figure without naming its source.

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