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Government entity seeks to regulate health care costs; insurer sues

It hardly equates to a news event these days to note that health care costs are a material concern to scores of millions of people across the country, including high numbers of New York residents.

Indeed, polls, surveys, hard empirical evidence, anecdotal musings and virtually all other information sources indicate that care-cost concerns are an uppercase worry in the United States and that something simply must be done to rein them in to reasonable levels.

A recent media story on care costs and a related lawsuit on medical charges notes the attempt of one government entity to step in and control costs on behalf of local residents, coupled with an affected insurance company's reaction.

The insurer -- New York-based MVP Healthcare -- filed a lawsuit against the State of Vermont in response to a government agency's attempt in that state to curb medical insurance rates.

The rates that MVP Healthcare charges policyholders are firmly in question in the litigation. The above-cited story notes that the insurer "has annually proposed rate hikes, in some cases as high as 27%."

The state's response has been to step in with a regulatory effort to regulate MVP Healthcare and other insurers, based on what "promotes access to health care." The New York insurer's lawsuit contends that Vermont's intervention is unconstitutional.

Critics understandably disagree, with one commentator stating that the litigation is "an assault on the authority of government to regulate the private sector."

It is not always a government entity that is pitted against an insurer or other actor in the health care industry. In many instances, legitimate grievances are brought by hospitals, health care billing and management companies and a host of other private interests.

Such entities can be timely and comprehensively assisted in their efforts by a proven law firm with tenured experience promoting the interests of practices, facilities and professionals in the health care field.

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