Krugman_CaliforniaDeathSpiral_NYT - New York Times February...

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New York Times February 19, 2010 OP-ED COLUMNIST California Death Spiral By PAUL KRUGMAN 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 incre ases: “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 which is exactly what Democrats are trying to accomplish. Here’s the story: About 800,000 people in California who buy insurance on the individual market as opposed to getting it through their employers are covered by Anthem Blue Cross, a WellPoint subsidiary. These are the people who were recently told to expect dramatic rate increases, in some cases as high as 39 percent. Why the huge increase? It’s not profiteering, says WellPoint, which claims instead (without using the term) that it’s facing a c lassic insurance death spiral. Bear in mind that private health insurance only works if insurers can sell
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course 360 290 taught by Professor Dankelemen during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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Krugman_CaliforniaDeathSpiral_NYT - New York Times February...

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