Walter’s Corner


A $51 Million Rebate for Area Residents

I have some very good news regarding our longstanding efforts to require CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield to spend down its excess surplus. Yesterday, the D.C. Insurance Commissioner ordered the company to rebate $51 million in excess surplus to the more than 200,000 subscribers with D.C.-based CareFirst contracts. This group is primarily D.C. residents, […]


A Busy Week: Statehood, CareFirst Reform, Public Safety

It’s been a busy week in the District and at DC Appleseed. We have important updates on three different projects–D.C. Democracy, CareFirst Reform, and Public Safety–and we wanted to let you know about them. Statehood Will Be on the District’s November Ballot On Tuesday, the D.C. Council unanimously approved a […]


A $56 Million Victory for the Public

I have some really good news about our longstanding efforts to hold CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield accountable to its nonprofit mission. Your probably remember that almost a year-and-a-half ago–December 2014–the D.C. Insurance Commissioner determined that CareFirst had improperly accumulated more than $268 million of excess surplus. And he ordered the company […]


The D.C. Council Sets a Deadline for Holding CareFirst Accountable

As you know, it’s been more than a year since CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield failed to file a plan for spending $56 million of its excess surplus on community health needs–as required by District law and the order of the D.C. Department Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB). Responding to this delay, […]


We Won

By now you have probably heard the excellent news: the D.C. Superior Court ruled on Friday that the local budget autonomy referendum overwhelmingly ratified by the voters is valid law. And shortly afterward, the District’s chief financial officer announced that he now has the “definitive ruling” needed to go forward […]


It’s Time to Hold CareFirst Accountable

It’s now been nearly a year since CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield’s District-based subsidiary, Group Hospitalization and Medical Services, Inc. (GHMSI), failed to file a plan for returning $56 million in excess 2011 surplus to the community, as ordered by the D.C. Insurance Commissioner. Even though the Commissioner should proceed carefully in […]


Time to Regulate Marijuana in the District

As the Washington Post noted in an editorial last week, Congress has put the District in a difficult spot over marijuana legalization. While District voters overwhelmingly backed legalization through Initiative 71 in 2014, Congress has continued to prohibit the District from using its current fiscal year appropriation to enact the […]


It’s Time to Claim Budget Autonomy

The District has patiently attempted every conceivable strategy to achieve the right to budget autonomy–the right of District residents to decide for themselves how to spend their locally raised tax dollars. District officials have worked for decades on Capitol Hill to get a budget autonomy bill, but Congress could not […]


At Last, a Chance to Hold CareFirst Accountable

As you probably know, last Friday, Congress passed its omnibus appropriations act to fund the federal government and the District government for the rest of the fiscal year. And you may have read in the Washington Post and the Washington Business Journal that the act included a provision that will […]