Monday, October 5, 2009

Anthem sues Maine

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, which dominates Maine's insurance market, has reportedly sued our state over regulators' refusal to approve an 18.9% rate hike earlier this year.

Anthem's parent company, WellPoint, made a profit of over $580 million last year and has assets of over $49 billion, or a billion dollars more than Maine's entire GDP. Meanwhile the company has been putting the squeeze on Ellsworth's hospital and on small pharmacies.

I'd heard a rumor about the suit last week, but as far as I can make out, Maine's media left it for Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films to break. Greenwald -- who delivers progressive agitprop on timely public policy issues -- today released a new short film on Anthem's move which is making a splash across the Internet this afternoon:

It's not top-notch journalism, but it does raise a number of serious questions that Maine's mainstream media should already have been asking. How our news gathering organizations can be scooped in their own backyard by an outfit out of Culver City, California is beyond me.

[UPDATE: 10/06/09: In case you were curious about how much money Maine senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have received from the health care industry, there's this from Daily Kos.]

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