Charlie Baker continues to brag about personally saving Harvard Pilgrim insurance company….When challenged by the fact that it was state government assistance that made the rescue possible, Charlie the prevaricator denies, denies, denies…and continues to pedal the self-promoting myth.
Hidden under a misleading headline in Boston Globe’s Sept.9. 2010 story by Michael Levenson:
Policy specialists say Harvard Pilgrim did receive assistance from the state insurance commissioner and state attorney general when the Commonwealth placed the company into receivership, a dramatic step akin to bankruptcy protection that put the company under state oversight in 2000.
Baker also got help from the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority, a quasi-public agency, which issued an $80.9 million tax-free bond in 2002 to help Harvard Pilgrim sell its property in Kenmore Square and lease it back. Under the deal, private investors purchased the bond and assumed the risk.
The Facilities Authority used Civic Investments Inc., a nonprofit entity that it created, to buy the Kenmore Square property and lease it back to Harvard Pilgrim, acting essentially as a “holding entity for some of Harvard Pilgrim’s property,” said Robert J. Ciolek, who was the authority’s executive director at the time.
Who is zoomin’ who here? Depends on the meaning of “Helped”! Let’s make it simple for any average citizen, Democrat, Republican or Tea Party voter or reporter to understand what really went down to save Harvard Pilgrim on Charlie’s watch.
Think of it this way: YOUR family is facing foreclosure, because you lost your job and can’t pay your bills, so the state steps in, puts all your creditors on hold (receivership). Then the state arranges for a public agency to buy your home for full market value, paying off your debts and giving you the extra cash! Then your family gets to live in the very same house for the next 20 years at a very reasonable monthly rent that you can afford! Wow! Wouldn’t that be helpful? That’s essentially what the state did for Harvard Pilgrim insurance company..and if the state didn’t step in, the company would have gone under.
Truth be finally told, the state indeed HELPED Charlie Baker “save” Harvard Pilgrim…the only things Charlie did without state help were to raise policyholders’ premiums 150% and use those bloated premiums to jack up his own salary to over $1.7 million a year (austerity in tough times?)…which is cold comfort to HP policyholder’s when they submit a claim and are told the biggest lie of all :“You are NOT covered!”
I would suggest that if Charlie Baker pulls off this charade…All Massachusetts citizens will NOT be covered for the next 4 years.
Disclaimer: As longtime BMGers already know, I am and always have been an ardent supporter of Tim Murray. I am also a strong opponent of candidate’s like Charlie Baker who find it so easy to lie with a straight face (or smurk, as it were).