“For 2010,” Ms. Braly said, “we expect hospital inpatient and outpatient costs in California to grow by over 10 percent, driven primarily by hospital reimbursement rates. Additionally, we expect pharmacy costs in California to grow by over 13 percent.”

Which is obviously why Ms. Braly's company, WellPoint, needed to raise rates 39 percent. (And no, you don't add 10 plus 13. But if you did, you'd still be a bit short of explaining the rate hike, eh?)

She did a lot of whining to congress today about older people costing health care more - without of course mentioning that those people are primarily covered by Medicare.

Oh, and then she had the gall to say that rising costs of health insurance mean that less people can afford individual policies . . . which means that those who are left, have to pay more. Because of the actuary tables.

Uh, here's a suggestion: rather than segregating individual policies from employer policies (and breaking those down according to group size), put them all in the same risk pool.

Oh beans, then we won't be able to make - what is that? Twenty-three percent overhead and profit?

Is it worse that WellPoint's roots lie in the nonprofit world, or does that explain why they're gouging now?

They're just vultures.

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