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Critical Condition

NRO’s health-care blog.

Fearsome Foursome



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Kaiser Health Network’s Julie Appleby has a story in today’s Washington Post on the “foursome of longtime industry watchdogs” who will be leading the health bill’s implementation efforts at HHS’ new Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight Office, headed by former Missouri insurance commissioner Jay Angoff.  Bob Goldberg recently profiled Angoff in the American Spectator, observing that “Angoff’s tenure in both Missouri and New Jersey is associated with driving out health insurers and driving premiums sky high.”

According to the Post, the other three new appointees are: “former Maryland insurance commissioner Steve Larsen, who in 2003 rejected the sale of nonprofit insurer CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, former Georgetown University professor Karen Pollitz, a longtime critic of the individual insurance market and Richard Popper, who runs Maryland’s insurance program for people who can’t get coverage because they have health problems.”

According to James Gelfand, director of health policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with these new appointees, “It will be them against the insurance companies, them against employers, trying to do everything to advance these policies to make the plan look better.”   

The appointment of this latter-day fearsome foursome provides an early signal that the Post’s prediction of “more tough scrutiny for insurers” from the health-care implementation team may be an understatement.



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