Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WaPo: NOW we know why BCBSNC was stockpiling all that money: THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL ACCESS TO PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE

Godalmighty: get me away from this vicious company: we need PUBLIC INSURANCE as a possibility---CAN YOU SAY: MEDICARE WILL GIVE ME ACCESS TO SCREENING COLONOSCOPIES? BCBSNC is in the top 5 wealthiest Blues in the US (out of 28 Blues) and they have been stockpiling YOUR money and MY money in order to undo us as re: having access to government sponsored health insurance:

"North Carolina's Blue Cross Blue Shield Trying to Kill Key Plank of Obama Plan

By Ceci Connolly

One week after the nation's health insurance lobby pledged to President Obama to do what it can to constrain rising health costs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is putting the finishing touches on a public message campaign aimed at killing a key plank in Obama's reform platform.

As part of what it calls an "informational website," the company has hired an outside PR company to make a series of videos sounding the alarm about a government-sponsored health insurance option, known as the public plan. Obama has consistently maintained that a government-run plan, absent high-paid executives and the need for profits, could be a more affordable option for Americans who have trouble purchasing private insurance. The industry argues that creating a public insurance program will undermine the marketplace and eventually lead to a single-payer style system.

In three 30-second videos, the insurer paints a picture of a future system in which patients wait months for appointments and can't choose their own doctors, according to storyboards of the videos obtained by the Washington Post.

One video titled "Waiting" shows a receptionist fielding a request from a patient enrolled in the new program.
"The government plan. Okay hold on...let me see what's available," the woman says into the telephone. On the screen, with the caller on hold, the receptionist rearranges items on her desk, looks at a wide- open calendar and then fibs: "It looks like the first time we can fit you in is in two-and-a-half months."

Another spot in the series, being developed by Capstrat media in Raleigh, shows a woman and child wandering down a darkened hospital doorway "as if they're starting to realize that they've lost their way," according to sketches of the video. "We can do a lot better than a government-run health care system," the narrator concludes.

Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesman Lew Borman said the videos are still in the draft stage. On the question of creating a public option to compete with private insurers, he said: "We believe an unchecked government-run plan would lower payment to doctors and hospitals, forcing them to attempt to charge private insurers more and thus further eliminate private insurers' ability to compete against the government."

On its Web site, Capstrat touts its "agility in turning complex issues into simple, powerful and persuasive stories." Company president Karen Albritton declined to comment.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has 3.7 million members and processed more than $10.7 billion in medical claims last year. Get a first look at the video storyboards here."

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