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Pioneer Editorial: Higher premiums for exotic trips?

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Rising health care costs are the public's top concern, after the state of the economy. In reality, the two are connected. Just as we abhorred the thought of bank and financial house CEOs getting cushy bonuses after taxpayer bailouts, those of us who pay dearly in health insurance premiums are equally upset when it happens in the health insurance industry.

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Thus it's reassuring that the Board of Directors of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota acted swiftly Monday to fire President and CEO Mike Unhjem after the word got out that more than 30 employees were "rewarded" with a Grand Cayman Islands resort getaway.

The audacity of such a reward comes as the company seeks a premium increase of up to 18.3 percent. North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm said he would begin an investigation into the company's compensation and bonus structure -- as he should.

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