March 09, 2010

Troubling Health Insurance Numbers

Last week I blogged about the troubling news that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico was planning to increase premiums for individual plans by 25%.

I'm encouraged to hear that State Insurance Superintendant Morris Chavez has put the brakes on this rate hike and I look forward to a public hearing to get to the bottom of it.

But these kinds of abuses are what we have come to expect from insurance companies across the country. It's far too common to see troubling numbers that just seem to keep on going up.

Today the White House launched a new online campaign called Health Reform by the Numbers. Today's number: 1,115.

$1,115 is the average Americans spent each month for employer-sponsored family coverage in 2009. And as we have seen with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, this number is only continuing to rise.

You can watch a snapshot of the impact of rising premiums on people in our state on my New Mexico Voices for Health Reform page.

We have the chance to change this story -- hold the health insurance companies accountable, halt the growing cost of premiums and provide all New Mexicans with access to quality, affordable health care.

I'm continuing to fight for the reform that we need now.