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Union Leader Says Lobbying Efforts Are Raising Insurance Premiums

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The president of the AFL-CIO is asking state insurance regulators to investigate if health insurance industry lobbying is raising the price of insurance premiums for customers.

The Dow Jones Newswire reports that AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield requested a rake hike of up to 30 percent in Connecticut while spending $9.5 million to lobby Congress on health care reform.

"We believe that health insurance providers' lobbying expenditures have led to excessive rate hikes," Trumka wrote to regulators in Connecticut, Indiana, New York and Pennsylvania. Laws in those states require insurance regulators to approve rate changes. Two of the top four insurance companies, WellPoint Ince and Cigna Corp., are based in Indiana and Pennsylvania, respectively.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the health care industry spends the most money on lobbying in Washington, shelling out $133 million to influence legislation in the second quarter.