A few days ago I posted about Obama’s HHS Secretary Katherine Sebelius bullying health insurance company Anthem Blue Cross about its hiking health insurance premiums. In her letter to the company, which conveniently reached the media before it ever reached the company itself, Sebelius admits that health care costs are growing…yet still demands to know why Anthem Blue Cross is raising its premiums.
Maybe it’s because, you know, health care costs are going up.
Regardless, it appears as though Anthem has now succumbed to the bullying:
Health insurer Anthem Blue Cross said Saturday it would postpone its much-criticized plan to raise rates up to 39 percent for some California residents, agreeing to let regulators first review the decision.
The rate increases will be delayed two months as requested by the California Department of Insurance, said Brian Sassi, president of Anthem Blue Cross of California in Thousand Oaks.
The company said it welcomed a review by the department, and that its proposed rates reflect anticipated medical costs.
“Anthem filed these rates with the appropriate regulators in November of 2009,” Sassi said. “They are actuarially sound and in full compliance with all requirements in the law. The rate adjustments have been reviewed by an independent expert.”
I’m not sure why premium amounts should be the business of anyone but the insurance companies and their customers. If an insurance company is charging too much in premiums than customers – business and individuals – can always take their business somewhere else.
And if there aren’t enough alternatives for businesses and customers to choose from, well then maybe that’s due to a lack of competition in the market. A lack of competition, I’d remind readers, that is fostered by the government and its refusal (as one example) to allow insurance policies to be sold across state lines.
The Obama administration is attacking private insurance companies as though they’re the cause of America’s spiraling health care costs. But that’s just a charade. A bit of grandstanding put on for our benefit.
The truth is that the government, not the private sector, is the problem.