The Washington Post reports,

An internal industry study released earlier this week found that the Senate reform bill would cause premiums to rise sharply, but the report’s findings have been widely disputed…

Pelosi said the House may adopt a Senate provision that would assess a flat fee on insurance companies that is expected to generate about $40 billion over 10 years

Thanks to Tyler Cowen for the pointer. I held off on commenting on the insurance industry study when it was released, because I wanted to give the study’s opponents time to assemble a reply. The reply has been mostly ad hominem.

If the Democrats had solid evidence that their reform bill will not substantially raise insurance rates, then they would just give us that proof and dispose of the issue that way. Instead, punishing the insurance companies for releasing the study suggests to me that the study has some validity to it.

At a state level, one does find higher insurance rates in states that are regulated along the lines proposed in the bill. I don’t know whether the amounts suggested in the insurance industry study are reasonable. But the direction is almost surely correct.

I am not a fan of the health insurance industry. But I am even less of a fan of enacting taxes solely for the purpose of punishing one’s political opponents. Morally, it is on the same level as throwing your enemies in jail.