Saturday, May 23, 2009

Innoculate yourself: BCBSNC is going to try and scare you out of government sponsored health insurance e.g., Medicare

Health scare

Health care reform needs thorough discussion of different approaches, but not ads mainly meant to frighten.

Published: Fri, May. 22, 2009

Does Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina really want to participate in a constructive debate over how to provide accessible, affordable and quality health care for all Americans? A strategy for videos in the planning stages for the company, as reported by The News & Observer, indicates it prefers more of the same old tactics used to thwart health-care reform in the past.

Those tactics include simply trying to scare people. At least, that's one way of looking at plans for commercials that would, for example, have a receptionist telling a caller that under a government health care plan, an appointment with a doctor would be more than two months in coming. In another instance voice-overs would talk about "rising premiums" and warn, "a lot like Medicare" (not that Medicare isn't well-regarded by most of its elderly beneficiaries).

The plans were leaked to Adam Searing, healthcare access director for the N.C. Justice Center, and he shared "story boards" for the videos with The N&O. The videos are being created by Capstrat, a Raleigh public relations firm.

When asked about the videos, Blue Cross promised that "positive information" would be included. But the insurance industry is standing firmly against suggestions from the Obama administration that one part of health-care reform might be a government-sponsored plan that would compete with private insurers. That, the private companies say, would be disastrous....."

I wanted to invite all who are concerned about this to comment at the Raleigh News Observer----an excellent paper w/ provocative investigative reporting. Not difficult to register.

Just as psychologist Phil Zimbardo outlined the fear mongering tactics associated with the levels of warning which served a purpose of scaring Americans, thus inviting a loss of yet more civil rights and freedoms: see:

The Threat Level Is Elevated! The Threat Level Is Elevated!

July 01, 2003 — CSO — In his treatise on the psychology of terrorist alarms, Philip G. Zimbardo, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, outlines what he calls the "Paul Revere paradigm for successful dissemination of public alarms." He bases his theory on four reasons for the success of Revere's famous ride to alert the colonials of the British approach.

Revere was known to be a credible communicator.
His alarm was focused on a specific event.
It was designed to spur citizens to act.
It called for a concrete set of actions in response.
This is gonna be a fight to the death, I think, this matter of getting access to government sponsored health insurance e.g., Medicare.

APA's in a unique position to influence this matter but I would bet my bottom dollar that they wouldn't touch it w/ a ten foot pole. Its no different than the matter of the confounding matter of the Division of Military Psychology / the PENS committee being stacked w/ military psychologists and the storm which continues to crank ever higher re: what psychologists should be able to do who are members of the military.

I'd suggest that the Division of Independent Practice is gonna have to really crank things and is in a unique position to do so----if the Board members don't wimp out.

I'd appreciate info on that. Or I'll assume that this is just another instance of 'we can't kick up a fuss.' ---same old tired story.

marsha v. hammond, phd, asheville, NC

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