HEALTHCARE

Sebelius Scolds Insurance Execs

As healthcare legislation founders on Capitol Hill, the White House is making its struggle against soaring insurance costs personal. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a meeting with the CEOs of five major insurers and officials from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at the White House Thursday to discuss what she called “jaw-dropping rate increases” around the country. Specifally, she instructed them to be more transparent in their pricing. "Put it on a Web site, tell us what your loss trends are," Sibelius said. "Tell us what you're paying out. Tell us what you're spending in overhead and CEO salaries and advertising." President Obama dropped in to personally hand the executives a letter from a cancer survivor whose health premium increased over 40 percent this year. Wellpoint execs said they raised their rates in California due to rising medical costs and a pool of aging customers. A broker at Goldman Sachs predicted insurers will continue to hike prices, especially in areas where they enjoy monopolies.