by Daniel T. Zanoza, Executive Director
According to an article by Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/18/AR2010021801345.html?hpid=topnews insurance companies who provide health care coverage for individuals have been pushing to levy huge premium increases on their customers in recent months. Goldstein reports "Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine is asking that state to approve a 23 percent rise in premiums for its individual-market customers, after state regulators slashed an 18 percent increase that the insurer requested in 2009."
Even worse, FOX News reported on Thursday (Feb. 18, 2010) that, in California, Anthem Blue Cross was seeking increases in premium rates as high as 39% for an individual health insurance policy. That company also backed off from its plan to single out individual policy holders for draconian hikes in prices due to public outrage.
President Barack Obama in his plan to reform the American health care system--which represents one-sixth of the nation's economy--from the beginning has attempted to demonize insurance companies. The question I have is: Why would firms, including Anthem Blue Cross, help give Obama ammunition in his fight to revive health care reform legislation which seemed to be dead on arrival?
Something strange is going on here. Either these companies are being run by fools or they are as greedy as Obama claims. Or perhaps the whole thing is part of a sinister master plan to help pass a health care bill most Americans don't want.
Soon Mr. Obama will hold a second summit with Republicans with the purpose of reaching a bipartisan agreement over the health care reform issue. But many question whether Mr. Obama is sincere or whether he is simply trying to paint Republicans into a corner calling them obstructionists. Of course, in this case, the latter is true.
However, the actions of the insurance companies seem to tell a different story. Is it possible a deal has already been cut that will ensure health care reform legislation will become a reality sometime before the general election in 2010? If this is the case, the politicians in Washington, D.C. truly believe Americans are stupid and they won't catch on to what's being foisted upon them until it's too late.
Something smells fishy here. But as fish lovers know, fresh fish does not smell. Possibly the odor we are picking up is far more offensive than rotting seafood.
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