The Blue Shield announcement garnered attention from Washington, D.C. where U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised the action in a press statement calling it a "great step forward" and noting the health insurer's commitment to "providing better care at prices that better reflect underlying medical costs."
Closer to home however, politicians and consumer advocates weren't as kind. In an e-mail exchange, a spokesperson for the California Department of Insurance said that DOI commissioner Dave Jones would not release a statement specific to Blue Shield's latest announcement.
She did, however, provide a statement Jones made during earlier media interviews: "Blue Shield's announcement is essentially an admission by the insurer that it is…making excessive profits. This non-profit insurer more than doubled its profits from $148 million in 2009 to $315 million in 2010. If anything, Blue Shield's announcement simply serves to underscore, yet again, why the insurance commissioner needs the authority to reject excessive health insurance rate hikes in California."