How sick

Anthem Blue Cross stunned 700,000 of its customers in early February with news that their individual health-insurance policies were to be increased, starting March 1, by a 39 percent increase. That’s on top of an even larger increase the year before.

The giant health insurer had the audacity to blame the bump on the recession—see, healthy people have tended to give up their insurance, thereby leaving fewer policyholders to cover costs for a sicklier group.

Wow. Could there be a better example of why we need health-insurance reform?

Sure, Anthem backed down a few days ago to mounting pressure, and agreed to “postpone” the rate adjustment. But that’s simply not enough.

Assemblyman Dave Jones, our man in the Legislature, is fighting mad about this issue and will reintroduce legislation that would require state regulators to approve health-insurance rate increases. The bill failed to pass out of the Assembly Health Committee last spring, but here’s hoping the Anthem Blue Cross outrage will push it to passage this time.