Paul Krugman bangs on the healthcare reform drum again, citing the appalling rate increases by health insurers in California.Individual rates that are already sky-high will jump by an astounding 39% this year, health-insurer Wellpoint just announced.
Wellpoint blames the crappy economy. Krugman blames the fact that reasonably healthy folks have elected to stop paying Wellpoint an arm and a leg, leaving it to cover only all the sick ones.
Anyone who has ever had to buy insurance individually–and watch the insurance companies jack up premiums an absurd amount year-in, year-out, regardless of economic conditions–can surely relate. But we suspect there’s a reason we haven’t heard the word “healthcare” out of Washington in weeks. So help would not seem to be on the way.
Health insurance premiums are surging — and conservatives fear that the spectacle will reinvigorate the push for reform. On the Fox Business Network, a host chided a vice president of WellPoint, which has told California customers to expect huge rate increases: “You handed the politicians red meat at a time when health care is being discussed. You gave it to them!”
Indeed. Sky-high rate increases make a powerful case for action. And they show, in particular, that we need comprehensive, guaranteed coverage…
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