Health insurance carrier TakeCare filed a pair of lawsuits today challenging the GovGuam health insurance bid process. Among the arguments, that a requirement to include private hospital Guam Regional Medical City in its coverage violates the Constitution.

One lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of Guam, the other in federal district court. At the center of both complaints is a public law passed earlier this year that requires bidders for the lucrative GovGuam health contract to include all civilian hospitals in their network coverage.

TakeCare and GRMC have long been at odds over various business issues, and TakeCare has never had an agreement with the private hospital. In its complaint before the federal court, Take care argues that a mandate to carry GRMC is a violation of its 5th and 14th Amendment rights to due process and equal protection under the law.

In the local court complaint, the insurance company argued that an Office of Public Accountability decision to reject its procurement protest as untimely also violates those same constitutional rights. Speaker Tina Barnes was the author of the law requiring all hospitals to be included in the GovGuam health insurance contract. In a statement, Barnes said, "the protest was already rejected by the OPA and I feel confident continued appeals will meet the same fate."

She goes on to say, "the truth is that every customer has a legal right to determine the benefits they will pay for even when that customer is the Government of Guam. This law sends a simple message: no one covered by GovGuam insurance should go bankrupt with uncovered medical costs just because they went to the wrong hospital."