Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is seeking an immediate and significant rate hike (of about 44.4 percent) for those who buy their insurance through the provider and are not insured through the workplace.

Blue Cross has said it needs the rate hikes because it faces losses of more than $1 billion through 2011 on its individual policies. It wants state changes to require more commercial insurers to take all applicants, as it is required, to spread the burden of providing insurance to the sickest, costliest people.

Robert Kasperek, a regulatory vice president for BCBS, actually has the gall to call the 44.4 percent hike a “money saving” move for its ratepayers, since the hike is not as high as the original 56 percent the organization requested.

There is no mention in the article of the fact that BCBS employees were granted significant bonuses this year on the backs of the taxpayers who will now be asked to pay higher premiums on top of it. Forgive me if I don’t think a national public insurer would be any better than it is in Michigan.

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