As snow falls in New York City, the protestors of the Occupy Wall Street movement have set their sights on the health insurance industry. Last week, hundreds of protestors marched to the Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield offices, which are located close to Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street movement has taken root. The march culminated at the St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, which had closed in April of this year due to crippling debt.
Protestors are demanding the reopening of the hospital, which had accrued more than $1 billion in debt, much of which came from health insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the state’s largest insurers, was targeted and accused of contributing to the general poverty of the state’s populace because of its costly insurance policies. The insurer was not the only organization attracting the ire of protestors, however, as they also aimed their discontent at several other insurance organizations that have been raising rates for consumers and health care providers.
The health insurance industry is quickly becoming a target for the Occupy Wall Street movement due to the industry’s opposition to the movement’s key desire: Free health care for all. Insurers have, thus far, avoided the notice of protestors, but as new insurance regulations in New York take effect – regulations that have insurers divulge information regarding rate increases – protestors have begun speaking out against the state’s insurance companies.