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Trump visits South Dakota's Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore today; nearby tribal leaders object, citing concerns over COVID-19 and a fireworks display. Plus, voter registration numbers are down from this time in 2016.

Report: Two Health Insurers Rule the Roost in TN

May 21, 2009

Nashville, TN – A new report finds 61 percent of the health insurance policies in Tennessee are written by just two insurance companies, and the absence of competition in all states is causing higher premium costs and greater numbers of uninsured people. The report, by Health Care for America Now, finds Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Health Care now control most of the health insurance business in Tennessee.

Tom Peters, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action, says consumers have little choice when they shop for health insurance.

"It creates a real danger for consumers, because they don’t have a choice. The insurance companies can arbitrarily raise rates and there is nowhere else for consumers to go."

Peters argues the lack of competition makes national health care coverage a more realistic option.

"It would give people the option to see what a different plan would offer. I think there wouldn’t be some of the overhead cost that go into the private plans."

According to the report, in the past decade, insurers recorded large profit increases, while premiums for Tennessee families increased 62 percent. The insurance industry counters that government agencies have concluded they do operate in a highly competitive market and that, since they are regulated, the regulators bare some of the responsibility for the rates. Critics claim that making national health care an option would be even more expensive than the current system.

The report is at www.healthcareforamericannow.org.



Dick Layman, Public News Service - TN