State Health Plan Crisis: Five Minutes on the Real Problem

Today Adam Linker and I discuss the state health plan crisis in this five minute video. We look at the calls for revealing the secret Blue Cross contract and point out that to really fix the state health plan we need to fix our broken and discriminatory private insurance system. We also are amused at statements by some insurance company executives.


  1. Marsha V. Hammond, PhD

    March 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    great job, ‘the adams.’ I particularly enjoyed your comment on BCBSNC CEO Bob Greczyn who indicated he believed (heck: what does he know: he’s just the CEO of the 3rd wealthiest Blue in the USA) that most of the 1.6 million uninsured in NC could be given health insurance if people just received the S-Chip and Medicaid. He seems not to know anything about Medicaid eligibility. But then, of course he doesn’t. And re: the lack of transparency that the state legislators put up w/ re: BCBSNC, he just going along w/ his buds in the state legislature.

    Marsha V. Hammond, PhD: Clinical Licensed Psychologist, Asheville, NC

  2. Eugene Barufkin

    March 4, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Great video guys! A few questions please –
    How much “insurance” ie how any people would be covered if BCBS executives & staff had a $400,000 compensation cap until the current crisis was over?
    Does anyone know; what portion of collected premiums actually get into provider accounts?
    You forgot the point of the young, under 40, state employees who get a BCBS preferred state employee individual policy, because it costs less.
    I’m looking forward your next 5 minute video.
    I hope it includes these two issues –
    You think the claim billing is gouging NC? How much is Medco gouging NC taxpayers with their SHP Rx contract?
    I met with Charles Clifford, RPh of Medicine Park Pharmacy in Sanford, 919-776-9715, at the request of Representative Jimmy Love. He is waiting for calls.

    The following is my lay person understanding of a problem for North Carolina tax payers.

    Under the NC SHP contracts NC is being gouged by Medco when people purchase Rx’s using this plan.

    Mr Clifford showed me two identical items he purchased from Medco and another source.
    – Medco invoices the NC SHP up to 50% more than his purchases from another source.
    – Medco relabels the items with their own item identification number.
    – A pharmacy must use Medco as stipulated by the NC SHP program.
    – A few days later I met with Mike James @ Persons St pharmacy, he confirmed this information and added this – I have much more info than that. And years of history about SHP excessive costs, back into the early 90’s.

    How many unestimated millions of dollars are being wasted by this unnecessary secret State of North Carolina contractual arrangement.

  3. J. Halgren, advocate

    March 5, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Private insurance companies hate nondiscrimination since it reduces their profits; however, perhaps we can pull together a catastrophic pool of enrollees who can gain access to better health care coverage provided by the state which can ultimately drive down the overall costs of the private plans. Just need to figure out how we would pay for such a plan–tax on cigarettes or alchohol? Just tossing these thoughts into hopper…

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