From the Washington Post today:
Anthem Blue Cross withdraws big CA rate hike
The Associated Press Friday, April 30, 2010; 2:17 AM
LOS ANGELES — Insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross, the company criticized by President Barack Obama when it proposed raising rates for Californians by as much as 39 percent, withdrew plans for the proposed hike Thursday.
Los Angeles-based Anthem made the decision after an independent audit determined the company’s justification for raising premiums was based on flawed data, state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said.
The decision also came one day after Anthem’s parent, Wellpoint, Inc. of Indianapolis, announced its first-quarter profit soared by 51 percent.
Matt Sledge (of Indiana) at Huff Post just now on what’s up with Bayh’s decision to step down.
” . . . what really must have gotten to Bayh was the intensely personal tenor of the attacks on Bayh’s wife, Susan.
For many years Susan’s membership on several major corporate boards (eight of them, in 2008) was something of an open secret. Only over the course of the health care reform debate was it widely spoken about in Indiana. With Bayh playing a prominent role in the haggling over the public option and medical device fees, it was impossible to ignore the fact that WellPoint, a behemoth insurer, was paying Susan Bayh hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Between 2006 and 2008 Susan earned $2.1 million from health insurers. Legal under Senate rules, Susan Bayh’s refusal to step down from WellPoint’s board, and her husband’s denial that the millions she had earned from WellPoint would influence him, were greeted with derision from ethics watchdogs.”
Whether this is right or this is wrong, it stinks. Sledge notes that Bayh’s PAC got 85% of its money from out of State. The state’s other Dem Senator Dick Durbin’s PAC got 27% from out of state.
UPDATE: Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey (and very old) is in the hospital. What is going on here? Is it some sort of subconscious mass suicide?