DC sues area Blue plan, demands it donate millions to community

The government of Washington, DC, has launched a two-pronged attack on the region's largest health plan, filing a suit alleging that the non-profit plan must donate millions to the community, while also launching an official investigation of the plan. Both the District and the state of Maryland have criticized CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield for many years, arguing that it wasn't making appropriate charitable use of its annual surpluses. Over the past year, the District has been at war with CareFirst, upset that the plan didn't donate the expected annual $5 million contribution to a universal healthcare program officials planned. When CareFirst posted a $754 million surplus for 2007, that was the last straw for District officials. Not only did interim Attorney General Peter Nickles file a suit against the Blue plan, but the D.C. Council Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs also voted to begin an investigation, giving chairman Mary Cheh the authority to issue subpoenas. In the suit, Nickels contends that CareFirst is required to put $100 million into the community, but that it's handing out large executive salaries instead.

To learn more about the suit and investigation:
- read this Washington Post article

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