House To Investigate Anthem BC

From McJoan at DK:

The Obama administration has already sent a sternly-worded letter to Anthem Blue Cross over the company’s excessive rate increase for individual policy holders in California. How excessive? Up to 39 percent. But that’s not all. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield also informed their customers that they are changing their practice of adjusting rates annually, and as of now are reserving the right to raise premiums basically whenever they feel like it.

You got that? They want to do exactly what the credit card companies were doing.

There’s little beyond sternly-worded letters that the administration can do, other than something like maybe advocating strongly for some kind of legislative remedy, say in the form of serious competition to private insurers in the form of a robust public option for health insurance. But there’s something Congress can do, and that’s put the insurers on the hot seat and investigate. From the Speaker’s blog, The Gavel:

As Secretary Sebelius pointed out, WellPoint [parent company to Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield] reported a staggering $2,740,000,000 in profits for the fourth quarter of 2009 alone – eight times more than the last quarter of 2008 – and more than $4,750,000,000 for all of 2009. In fact, the company reaped these record profits even as it lost more than 1.4 million members…..

Today, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak announced that the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on February 24th regarding the premium rate increases.

The hearing, conveniently, will be held on February 24, the day before the bipartisan White House healthcare summit.

3 thoughts on “House To Investigate Anthem BC

  1. Ooh, a sternly-worded letter! That’ll show them! That’s that President O-for-thirty showin’ who’s boss!

    Maybe he can hold a summit with them where they can all get together and punch some hippies in the face and agree on some tax cuts for companies with $3billion in profits last year.

  2. It’s not correct that the government cannot do anything. The FBI, the IRS and other agencies can harass BSBS to no end. It about time to read their email, their bank account, confiscate their computers and many other things.

    That’s the only way to deal with mafias.

  3. Silly Koshem. Unleashing the FBI and IRS to snoop through panty drawers only applies to New York Governors and their bank accounts. Those agencies exist FOR the mafia!

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