Blue Cross of Michigan on Naughty List.

All too often we have to be extra alert to fight off the lobbying efforts of those who would use government to force monopolies down our throats.  It happened recently with energy, and the BCBSM have decided they would jump on as long as the legislature was passing out the stupid pills.  I have written on the Blues trying to pull yet another fast one before, and now it appears we are seeing some light at the end of this tunnel.

Today, received an email update from Michigan AG Mike Cox that for the sake of posterity, am simply cutting and pasting with commentary following:

Welcome

Momentum against the Blue Cross rate hike bills continues to grow. More and more citizens are saying “No” and calling on the legislature not to pass bills that will raise health care rates in lame-duck.

  1. Momentum against Blue Cross rate hike bills grows
  2. Newspapers Everywhere Oppose Blue Cross bills in lame-duck
  3. Other high profile opponents of the bills
  4. Contact your legislator
  5. Links to editorials opposing the Blue Cross bills in lame-duck

Momentum against Blue Cross rate hike bills grows

AFSCME Council 25
Michigan’s largest AFL-CIO union now opposes Rep. Corriveau’s Blue Cross rate hike bills. AFSCME Council 25 represents 100,000 Michigan workers and 325,000 health care workers nationwide.

In a letter to Rep. Corriveau the union said, “…We must oppose your proposed compromise without significant changes… the draft bills greatly diminish that oversight…”

Priority Health, Michigan’s only 5-star Medicaid plan in Michigan, representing more than a half million citizens and 8,500 employers in Michigan, also opposes the Blue Cross rate hike bills.

Newspapers Everywhere Oppose Blue Cross bills in lame-duck

The bills would Blue Cross to increase health care rates as high as 74% on seniors and 34% on all other citizens.

Currently eleven newspapers have editorialized against movement of these bills in lame-duck. Most recently the Detroit Free Press, Kalamazoo Gazette, and Jackson Citizen Patriot have joined papers from every corner of the state in opposing these bills.

Other high profile opponents of the bills

Other opponents of the Blue Cross rate hike bills include:

The UAW, representing hundreds of thousands of workers across Michigan.

AARP, representing Michigan seniors.

Consumers Union, the nations most respected consumer advocate group and publisher of Consumers Digest.

Contact your legislator

Certain legislators are currently trying to sneak through this bad legislation during lame-duck, hoping nobody is watching.

Click here to contact your State Representative or State Senator and tell them to oppose Blue Cross Blue Shield’s attempt to raise rates by pushing this legislation through during lame-duck.

Links to editorials opposing the Blue Cross bills in lame-duck

OK..  that last one I added..
I must give a thumbs up to AG Cox for pursuing this in his official capacity as well:

“While Blue Cross claims it needs the legislative changes to stop individual market losses, Cox pointed out that the non-profit remains financially healthy.  Blue Cross has:

  • Received an estimated $100 million per year in tax breaks in exchange for serving as Michigan’s “insurer of last resort.”

  • Grown its surplus to $2.96 billion.

  • Increased executive pay by 53% from 2006-2007.

  • Spent $493 million buying for-profit companies since 2005.

Additionally, BCBSM has spent significant resources on efforts to pass these changes in the legislature.  It has reportedly hired six lobbying firms and four public relations firms, in addition to spending more than $1 million per month on advertising in support of its claims”

Yeah..  THOSE ADS..  the ones that immediately inspire the nape hairs to dance straight up, as the “insurer of last choice” (or was that “resort”) lobbies to eliminate competition and oversight in Michigan.

Heck, even the AARP is against it…


“OLD PEOPLE! YO Granny!!  Wake up and send ol Chester to Lansing to give ‘ol Andy a woodshed treatment aforin its too late!!

Thank you AG Cox for staying on this..

1 comment for “Blue Cross of Michigan on Naughty List.

  1. December 5, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Good call, Jason. The AG has been awesome and all over this issue!

    –Nick
    http://www.RightMichigan.com

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