Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia unleashed an attack on the health insurance industry and the need for more regulation on Thursday during a health summit of top politicians convened by President Barack Obama.

The health insurance industry is terrible. They're in it for the money, he said.

Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided over increasing coverage across the U.S., with ring costs being the key deterrent for Republican lawmakers.

They so dominate the market that there is no real competition, he added. This is a rapacious industry that does what it wants.

A proposal for health care reform being considered, which Rockefeller supports, is the so-called individual mandate, which would require U.S. adults to purchase health insurance.

Benefits of such a requirement would be to distribute the costs of insuring people with pre-existing conditions, which are often excluded by health plans today.

Rockefeller stated that 44 of 50 states allow health insurance companies from excluding such individuals from joining their plans.

He said there was not enough support for even more stringent limits on the industry.

You have to go at them to clip their wings in every way that you can, he said.