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Please begin with an informative title:

So, apparently it really is impossible to ask a bloodsucking bully to stop doing something by just saying please. From Bloomberg:

Trustmark Life Insurance Co. raised premiums for about 10,000 people covered by health plans in five states at an “unreasonable” rate, the Obama administration said.

The closely held company increased the price for plans in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Alabama, Virginia and Wyoming by at least 13 percent, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement today.

Insurers are required by the 2010 health-care overhaul to explain rate increases exceeding 10 percent to state and federal regulators. Lake Forest, Illinois-based Trustmark’s new prices will result in the company spending a low percentage of premium revenue on customer care and quality improvements, the government said.

“It’s time for Trustmark to immediately rescind the rates, issue refunds to consumers or publicly explain their refusal to do so,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

Trustmark’s premiums are driven by the rising cost and increased use of medical services, the company said in a statement.

“As a smaller carrier, our loss ratios can vary significantly from year-to-year, and we take that volatility into consideration,” the company said in the statement.

Yup, health insurance companies will just end up saying no way, Katheen! History has shown that the only thing mega-profit insurance companies are ever willing to take back is the payments they make to your doctors.

State and federal regulators can’t force the insurer to drop the higher premiums.

In November, Sebelius called on a Pennsylvania insurer, Everence Insurance Co. of Goshen, to rescind an average 12 percent increase the government called unreasonable. Everence declined, saying it disagreed with the U.S. finding. The new rates took effect on Oct. 1.
Of course, there was supposed to be enforceable rate review in the already-horrendous Affordable Care Act, but that was cut to appease the likes of Joe "Aetna" Lieberman and other insurance company friends.

The Obama Administration needs to get serious with the bloodsuckers at the mega-profit insurance companies; just "asking nicely" (or asking nicely with a stern, written tone) will not do the job.

Does anyone really think that a little shout out for bad behavior on a government Web site is going to make insurance companies -- like Angela Braly's WellPoint -- that openly drop cancer patients from their rolls behave better?

Uhhhhh, no.

Insurance companies willing to murder cancer patients for profit through the immoral practice of rescission don't need to be asked to lower clearly unjustified rate increases, they need to be hammered into submission. And, no, that's not hyperbole.

Of course, the ultimate way to solve this problem would be Medicare for all.

Health is a public good, not a private commodity to be withheld until the highest possible price is paid.


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Originally posted to james321 on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 04:43 AM PST.

Also republished by Single Payer California.

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