HHS investigating Blue Cross of CA for raising rates 39%

Shut em down.

President Obama’s secretary of health and human services fired off a sharply worded letter to a California insurer Monday, demanding to know why it is raising rates for individual policyholders by as much as 39 percent.

Anthem Blue Cross of California sent out notices earlier this month to many of its roughly 800,000 holders of individual policies, informing them that the costs of their plans would sharply increase to cover rising health-care costs. The increases do not affect employer-provided plans in the state.

Sebelius also noted that Anthem’s corporate parent, WellPoint, has seen its profits “soar,” rising to $2.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2009.

“These extraordinary [rate] increases are up to 15 times faster than inflation…”

Here’s my favorite part of the article:

Costs have increased in the individual market, Anthem responded Monday afternoon, because the recession has led many policyholders to drop their coverage, spreading expenses among a smaller pool of customers.

Their high rates have forced people to drop coverage in a recession, so as a result Blue Cross is going to raise rates even higher, and force even more people to drop, and so on. It sounds like a strategy to get rid of these people all together. Thank God the Republicans, Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu and Max Baucus have been whoring for the insurance industry and helping to guarantee that real health reform will never happen in this country.

I said it before and I’ll say it again. Repeal Congress’ health care plan. Let them go on the individual market and get it like the rest of us, if they’re so afraid of socialized medicine.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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