WellPoint CEO Tells Obama to End Insurer Attacks

May 10, 2010 - 4:50 PM
WellPoint CEO Angela Braly has told President Obama attacks on health insurers "must end" in order to make the new health care reform law work.
Indianapolis (AP) - WellPoint CEO Angela Braly has told President Obama attacks on health insurers "must end" in order to make the new health care reform law work.
 
Braly, CEO of the largest U.S. health insurer based on enrollment, said in a letter to Obama the country has a history of coming together after tough debates and "the implementation of the new health care reform law should be no different."
 
"If we are going to make this law work on behalf of all Americans, the attacks on the health insurance industry - an industry that provides valued coverage for more than 200 million Americans - must end," said Braly's letter, which was sent Sunday night.
 
WellPoint runs Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in 14 states and has been a frequent target of barbs from the Obama administration.
 
A decision by WellPoint's California subsidiary, Anthem Blue Cross, to raise premiums for some of its individual insurance customers by as much as 39 percent drew heated criticism earlier this year, and many say it helped re-ignite Obama's push for reform. The insurer has since backed off that plan.
 
Braly sent the letter in response to Obama's weekly radio and Internet address. In it, he noted his administration asked an insurer he did not name to stop dropping coverage of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
 
WellPoint has aggressively denied a media report last month that it targeted breast cancer patients for rescission, a practice that involves dropping coverage for patients. Braly told Obama she was disappointed to hear him repeat "false information" about WellPoint's coverage of breast cancer in the address.
 
WellPoint shares rose 20 cents to close at $51.14.