Choice and Competition Coalition
This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
The Choice and Competition Coalition is a group of for-profit insurance companies and allied businesses which formed the coalition to influence the creation and implementation of state health exchanges mandated in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health reform act) of 2010. On April 11, 2011, it launched the web site choiceandcompetitioncoalition.org. The coalition claims that it exists to "ensure that health insurance exchanges promote competition and preserve consumer choice," with the caveat that "Health Insurance Exchange coverage should be a choice, not a requirement." The group claims that its mission is "to educate key policy makers on the importance of assuring consumers' rights to access and choice when purchasing healthcare coverage by providing guidance on federal regulations and support to state affiliates of coalition partners." According to a Politico Pro (subscription) article quoted on an American's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) website, "The members include key health players like America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Chamber of Commerce, PhRMA and the National Association of Health Underwriters.” Wendell Potter, former head of communications for CIGNA who left his position and testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Technology Committee in June of 2009 about insurance company practices, blogged that the group's first priority will most likely be "to assure that states set up their required health insurance 'exchanges' in ways that protect the interests of insurers and the agents and brokers who sell their products"-- in other words, like Utah's, which is "little more than a website where insurers can post all their benefit plans, even the ones that all but guarantee the purchasers will be underinsured," rather than like California's, which "will vet the insurers’ benefit plans and only offer those it deems to be of value to consumers." Claiming that they're in it to help small businesses, a business press article offers that the members of the Coalition, such as the National Retail Federation, "believe small businesses should be involved in state efforts to set up these exchanges, so that they... help businesses... get more affordable coverage."
The Coalition gives no address, telephone or fax number or email address. Contact is by web form only.
- Choice and Competition Coalition About Us, organizational web page, accessed April 11, 2011
- Choice and Competition Coalition Our Principles, organizational web page, accessed April 20, 2011
- Politico Politico Pro Details new "Choice and Competition Coalition." AHIP Coverage, April 1, 2011
- Wendell Potter The ‘Front Group’ Hall of Shame, PRWatch.org, Blog, April 11, 2011
- Kent Hoover Pragmatism or Purity?, Bizjournals Portfolio.com, April 1, 2011