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THE PRINCIPAL SUPPORTS HEALTHCARE REFORM

 DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The Principal Financial Group, the nation's second largest group health insurer ranked by group health premium, today gave its support to President Clinton's call for healthcare reform and for cradle-to-grave coverage for all Americans.
 "We need to expand access to healthcare to all our citizens, constrain costs, and develop a more rational system," said G. David Hurd, CEO of the Principal and chair of the Health Insurance Association of America.
 "We are gratified to hear the president and the first lady describe the current system as working for so many Americans," Hurd said. "The health insurance industry has also based its proposal on the current employer-based system of private insurance. We agree with the president that the current system should be simplified."
 "We strongly agree with the president's call for Americans to address underlying social problems that drive up the cost of healthcare. We think it is crucial to address these problems as part of our vision for a healthier society."
 Hurd noted the president said that there will be honest areas of disagreement with parts of his plan. He said, "While we support the goals of the Clinton plan and its basic principles, there are a few areas we feel will harm some parts of our current system that are working well for the majority of Americans."
 "We believe that joining the regional purchasing groups proposed by the president should be voluntary. Voluntary membership would allow employer groups to choose the coverage they want, including the coverage they currently have, as long as it meets the requirements of the new system."
 "We also believe that price controls, or a limit on the amount plans can raise premiums, will have a negative effect on the ability to raise new capital for the new system and may reduce the quality of care," Hurd said. "Spending controls on premiums do not address the real problem, the escalating cost of medical care."
 The Principal Financial Group is a diversified family of insurance and financial services companies with more than $41 billion in assets under management. Its member companies serve 7.6 million Americans and their families by providing a full line of individual and group insurance and financial products. Its flagship and largest member, Principal Mutual Life Insurance Company, is the fourth largest U.S. life insurance company in premium and annuity income and 10th largest in assets.
 Principal Healthcare Inc., a subsidiary of the Principal Financial Group, operates managed care plans including HMOs and PPOs serving more than 700,000 customers.
 -0- 9/24/93
 /CONTACT: Bill Roach of Principal Mutual Life Insurance Company, 515-246-7536, or home, 515-274-4285/


CO: The Principal Mutual Life Insurance Company ST: Iowa IN: INS SU:

TS-OS -- NY029 -- 5355 09/24/93 10:49 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 24, 1993
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