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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Health insurance companies: Anti-competitive and destructive

Anthem Blue Cross is … raising rates for individual policyholders by as much as 39 percent. That’s fifteen times faster than inflation...

Anthem says it has no choice. It says the recession has forced many policyholders to drop coverage because they can’t afford it. So Anthem has to spread its costs over a much smaller pool…

Anthem and its corporate parent, WellPoint, are enormously profitable. WellPoint’s profits rose to $2.7 billion last quarter...

Anthem has been among the most aggressive opponents of the health-care bills passed by the House and Senate…The only way it could possibly raise its rates so high and expect to keep its customers would be if Anthem’s customers have no other choice….

Insurers, remember, are exempt from the federal antitrust laws….

Anthem is a microcosm of what ails our private for-profit health insurance system – the most expensive in the world, whose costs are rising faster than anywhere in the world…

All this makes Anthem one of he best arguments for reform — which is probably why the President mentioned Anthem today when he emerged from what was billed as a “bipartisan” meeting to talk about health care and jobs.
---Robert Reich, 2/9

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