Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has submitted a request to the Maine Bureau of Insurance that would allow it to implement a rate hike on its available health care plans.

Those hikes would affect any Mainer who has a Health Choice or Lumenos health insurance plan, which includes about 11,000 policyholders. Those who are affected are the most hardworking, entrepreneurial individuals in Maine, such as the self-employed or those who work multiple jobs.

Anthem indicates the hike would produce an average increase of 23 percent on health insurance premiums on these individuals, and will continue to put quality health care out of the reach for working families. Those hikes also pave the way for increases on other policies.

Overall, insurance premiums have gone up 271 percent in the past 10 years. Anthem has a monopoly in Maine, including the policies held by many public employees.

Every rate hike thus becomes a tax hike.

Enough is enough.

Emily Bilodeau, Farmington