Trust us, we’re your friendly, neighborhood insurance giant

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has linked up with other powerful insurance company lobbying groups like the Healthcare Leadership Council and America’s Health Insurance Plans to launch www.gethealthreformright.org.

The purpose of the site is to sink the public health insurance option — and, if possible, health reform in general.

The groups are especially concerned about the bill working its way through the U.S. House that includes a public option that relies on Medicare’s negotiating power. One particularly humorous part of the site has a list of issues and then tells you which constituencies support each reform proposal. For example, under “expand coverage to everyone” the President, consumers, employers, etc. all agree.

Then there is the supposed “new government-run health plan that could force employers to drop coverage and take away choice.” Oh my. The President, we are told, supports this. “Some” consumers support it. Here’s where things get awkward. They don’t want to say that the American Medical Association officially endorsed the House plan, so doctors are listed with hospitals as opposing the public option. The problem is that the website is specifically addressing the House bill. And the AMA specifically endorsed the House bill. Can’t get much clearer than that.

There is also a form letter on the site that you can send to your representative that includes this line:

I recently read about a new study that found over 100 million Americans would be shifted into the government plan.

I don’t know why I go through this exercise with every study cited by Blue Cross, but here we go again. That study is a tired product of the Lewin Group, a research firm owned by UnitedHealth. You can read more about Lewin in the Washington Post here.

But the Congressional Budget Office estimates that about 11 million people would join the public plan that the House is proposing. Most firms that currently offer insurance would be ineligible to join the public plan in the House legislation. Lewin assumed that all employers would be eligible.

I suppose I’m a bit politically naive to think that it didn’t need to be like this. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina could have said that it supports reasonable health reforms and an individual requirement to buy insurance. It could have said that it wants a limited public option, but basically wants to build on the employer based system. And it could have made its case without including all of the ridiculous claims it includes on its website.

But Blue Cross has decided to run a misinformation campaign. So we’ll keep collecting and correcting the lies.


  1. Kimberly

    July 24, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    They are all so afraid of losing money and not having power over peoples lives that they will do everything they can to stop Health Care Reform with a National Public Health Option. The only thing they care about is money, they don’t care about quality of care and they certainly don’t care about human lives. Keep up the fight please. Keep telling the truth behind their lies. The majority of Americans have demanded Health Care Reform with a National Public Health Option and we are sharing our stories and contacting our legislators. I have to have faith and hope that our elected leaders will listen to the will of the people.

  2. jacksmith

    July 24, 2009 at 7:10 pm


    We have the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed world. Conservative estimates are that over 120,000 of you dies each year in America from treatable illness that people in other developed countries don’t die from. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies. This is what being 37th in quality of healthcare means.

    I know that many of you are angry and frustrated that REPUBLICANS! In congress are dragging their feet and trying to block TRUE healthcare reform. What republicans want is just a taxpayer bailout of the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry, and the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry. An insurance bailout is all you really get without a robust government-run public option available on day one.

    These industries have been slaughtering you and your loved ones like cattle for decades for profit. Including members of congress and their families. These REPUBLICANS are FOOLS!

    Republicans and their traitorous allies have been trying to make it look like it’s President Obama’s fault for the delays, and foot dragging. But I think you all know better than that. President Obama inherited one of the worst government catastrophes in American history from these REPUBLICANS! And President Obama has done a brilliant job of turning things around, and working his heart out for all of us.

    But Republicans think you are just a bunch of stupid, idiot, cash cows with short memories. Just like they did under the Bush administration when they helped Bush and Cheney rape America and the rest of the World.

    But you don’t have to put up with that. And this is what you can do. The Republicans below will be up for reelection on November 2, 2010. Just a little over 13 months from now. And many of you will be able to vote early. So pick some names and tell their voters that their representatives (by name) are obstructing TRUE healthcare reform. And are sellouts to the insurance and medical lobbyist.

    Ask them to contact their representatives and tell them that they are going to work to throw them out of office on November 2, 2010, if not before by impeachment, or recall elections. Doing this will give you something more to do to make things better in America. And it will help you feel better too.

    There are many resources on the internet that can help you find people to call and contact. For example, many social networking sites can be searched by state, city, or University. Be inventive and creative. I can think of many ways to do this. But be nice. These are your neighbors. And most will want to help.

    I know there are a few democrats that have been trying to obstruct TRUE healthcare reform too. But the main problem is the Bush Republicans. Removing them is the best thing tactically to do. On the other hand. If you can easily replace a democrat obstructionist with a supportive democrat, DO IT!

    You have been AMAZING!!! my people. Don’t loose heart. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy saving the World. :-)

    God Bless You

    jacksmith — Working Class

    Republican Senators up for re-election in 2010.

    * Richard Shelby of Alabama
    * Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
    * John McCain of Arizona
    * Mel Martinez of Florida
    * Johnny Isakson of Georgia
    * Mike Crapo of Idaho
    * Chuck Grassley of Iowa
    * Sam Brownback of Kansas
    * Jim Bunning of Kentucky
    * David Vitter of Louisiana
    * Kit Bond of Missouri
    * Judd Gregg of New Hampshire
    * Richard Burr of North Carolina
    * George Voinovich of Ohio
    * Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
    * Jim DeMint of South Carolina
    * John Thune of South Dakota
    * Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas
    * Bob Bennett of Utah

  3. Insurance | All Days Long

    July 25, 2009 at 9:51 am

    […] The Progressive Pulse – Trust us, we're your friendly … By Adam Linker Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has linked up with other powerful insurance company lobbying groups like the Healthcare Leadership Council and America's Health Insurance Plans to launch http://www.gethealthreformright.org. … The Progressive Pulse – http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/ […]

  4. […] Trust us, we’re your friendly, neighborhood insurance giant Adam Linker. The Progressive Pulse. July 24, […]

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