For some reason, WPRI’s Ted Nesi tacked a political ad for far-left progressive Democrat Aaron Regunberg to the end of an article about a massive parting gift from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to its departing CEO:
Aaron Regunberg, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, quickly criticized Blue Cross over the pay packages, and argued it shows the state needs to move to a single-payer health system.
“Every day I meet Rhode Islanders who are struggling to pay outrageous health care bills,” he said. “It feels like each year, insurance costs more and covers less. So why is Blue Cross seeking 10% rate hikes while handing their top executives immoral payouts of millions of dollars?”
It’s always strange for a news article to end with a question, which is more appropriate to commentary pieces, so let’s take a stab at an answer: Blue Cross is seeking 10% rate hikes while handing its top executives payouts of millions of dollars because it can. Thanks to government regulations, consumers’ options for health insurance are very limited, meaning that competitors can’t take advantage of indulgences like massive payouts to executives, and thanks to ObamaCare, the product that this limited number of providers are selling is mandatory for all Americans.
I realize that Regunberg was in high school in a distant state when Blue Cross was among the leading lights of Rhode Island corruption a decade ago. Still, it shouldn’t take direct experience for him to understand that creating monopolies and intimate relationships between major corporations and government can lead to corruption.
That the story of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s corporate pay structure could be turned into a pitch for a single-payer health system shows how far into lunacy our public discourse has drifted. Consolidating power helps the powerful, who will quickly find that they have more incentive to work together than to enthusiastically fulfill their roles as representatives for battling factions.
Rhode Island has built this truism into the organizing principle of our entire government. One suspects that Regunberg is not ignorant of this reality but, rather, is looking for his path to the narrow end of its funnel.