Thursday, August 20, 2009

Huge Health Insurance Hikes Sign Reform Is Needed

What kind of world do we live in where a 22 percent increase in health care premiums is thought to be a good thing?

One where companies have the audacity to ask for a 56 percent increase and then "settle" for 22 percent.

The recent Blue Cross-Blue Shield rate hike is a sign of everything that is wrong with our health insurance system. This supposedly non-profit company is sitting on billions of dollars in reserves which it collected from subscribers for the purpose of paying their medical bills. Yet it wants an obscenely huge increase in premiums from them.

The Livingston Press and Argus calls this rate hike a "huge win" and boasts that it will "save" Blue Cross subscribers $160 million, without ever mentioning how much the increase is going to cost them.

If scaling back a 56 percent increase to a 22 percent increase "saves" people $160 million, doesn't that mean the 22 percent increase is still going to cost people upwards of $100 million? And shouldn't that be mentioned?

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