I just received a fundraising request from MoveOn.org that opened with the following expression of indignation:
"Blue Cross has just announced that it's immediately raising premiums charged to hundreds of thousands of individual customers by as much as 39%—even though their parent company's profits soared to a record $4.7 billion last year. Even worse, the insurer has so far refused to explain why they're increasing their rates, and warned that they might do so again this year without warning."
The demand that MoveOn.org is making:
"Anthem Blue Cross must provide a detailed explanation for their exorbitant rate increases, or else roll them back immediately"
When I read that statement, the first thought that came to mind was: Besides Blue Cross customers and shareholder, who can vote with their dollars, what the heck gave MoveOn.org the idea that they should be able to override Blue Cross business decisions?
I am a business owner. If I decide to increase my prices, I may very well suffer the consequence of customers deciding to take their business elsewhere. Blue Cross certainly faces the same possible outcome. They answer to their share holders, and they answer to their customers. What obligation do that have to answer to MoveOn.org? None, as far as I can tell.
What I don't understand is where MoveOn.org got the idea that Blue Cross should somehow be compelled to explain their decision - or even reverse it. Does the government own and operate Blue Cross? No. Is MoveOn.org a significant shareholder in Blue Cross? No. Does MoveOn.org seem to think we operate in a centrally planned economy where 'the people' are entitled to hold private companies accountable to their demands? Apparently.