He testified before Congress last year that the growing number of uninsured people is a primary cause of problems throughout the healthcare system.
"Only by extending coverage to all Americans can we solve those problems," Bodaken said. "It is good economics, and frankly, it is the right thing to do."
The same could probably be said for giving people a little more wiggle room for paying bills at a time like this.
The yanking away of additional grace-period time follows Blue Shield being ousted in October from California's high-risk medical insurance pool, which offers health coverage to people who can't get insurance anywhere else. State officials decided that Blue Shield's premiums were simply too high.
According to an analysis for the state compiled by consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, Blue Shield's proposed rates for next year would have been "1.5 to nearly 3 times higher than those of the other plans" in the high-risk program.
The grace-period change also comes after last year's announcement that Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross agreed to pay a total of $13 million in fines after canceling the policies of more than 2,000 Californians after they became ill.
Neither company admitted any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
Paige, the Blue Shield customer, said she didn't know which was worse: that the company is making a customer-unfriendly change amid the healthcare reform debate, or that it's doing so smack dab in the middle of the holiday season.
"There's not even a pretense of compassionate service," she said. "It's like they're just thumbing their nose at everyone."
But at least they're uniform.
David Lazarus' column runs Wednesdays and Sundays. Send your tips or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.