The Boston Globe reports:
A half-dozen health insurers yesterday filed a lawsuit against the state seeking to reverse last week’s decision by the insurance commissioner to block double-digit premium increases — a ruling they say could leave them with hundreds of millions in losses this year.
The proposed rate hikes would have taken effect April 1 for plans covering thousands of small businesses and individuals. Insurers wanted to raise base rates an average of 8 percent to 32 percent; tacked on to that are often additional costs calculated according to factors such as the size and age of the workforce.
Yesterday’s legal action sets the stage for a showdown between state regulators and the health insurance industry.
Meanwhile, Governor Patrick insists that all is well with Obamacare 1.0:
In other words, our situation is ugly and getting uglier. And Patrick knows it, which is why he invoked his emergency powers to turn down health insurance rate increases. Unfortunately for Patrick, the reason for the hikes isn’t that insurance fat cats are cleaning up here. They need the hikes because our screwed-up system is driving costs through the roof.
Not only did Blue Cross lose money last year, but The Wall Street Journal reports that Massachusetts “insurers pay $1.12 in benefits for every $1 in premiums.”
Even the most ardent anti-corporation liberal has to admit firms can’t survive losing 12 cents on the dollar. Something’s gotta give.