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Blue Cross Outrage

This latest anti-reform mailer by NC Blue Cross is really outrageous. Why?

NC Blue Cross executives are using our premium dollars to protest taxes that apply only to very wealthy people like them. The House health reform bill taxes families making over $1 million a year and individuals making over $500,000 a year to help pay for health reform. The likely Senate health reform bill taxes health insurance policies held by super-wealthy executives – plans that provide for expensive gym memberships, no cost sharing at all, and any health service at any time. Six NC Blue Cross executives make over $1 million a year and all top execs make over $500,000 a year. They won’t say what their executive health plans are like, but you can bet they are lavish. This is self-dealing of the worst sort. Taking money from average North Carolinians to run a million-dollar ad campaign to protect millionaires from taxes is unconscionable.

NC Blue Cross is using their good nonprofit name – built up over sixty years – to fight against health reform. The front of this latest mailer says it all – “we can’t tax our way to affordable health care.” That message is surrounded by the Blue Cross logos and symbols. For many years those symbols meant affordable health care. Now they are being used to fight against affordable coverage for ordinary people. Has Blue Cross no shame? Responsible health reform doesn’t add to the federal deficit and is fully paid for. Health reform that doesn’t meet that standard will not pass in Congress. Both the bills in the House and Senate meet that standard and actually reduce the deficit according to the Congressional budget office. But that money must come from somewhere – about half comes from making the Medicare program more efficient and about half comes from new taxes on millionaires. Defeating those taxes means defeating health reform. That the Blue Cross symbol is being used to protest taxes on millionaires to help pay for health reform is a remarkable abrogation of sixty years of effort for affordable coverage and further drags the Blue Cross name through the dirt.

14 Comments

  1. Alex

    November 10, 2009 at 11:39 am

    It is the State of North Carolina’s Money because of the State Employees Plan. Really it is all taxpayers.

  2. Jeff

    November 10, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    “Responsible health reform doesn’t add to the federal deficit and is fully paid for.”

    Where does the federal government get it’s money? Oh, I forgot…. they take it from us or they just have it printed up by the FED, which is taking from us again.

  3. Rob Schofield

    November 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Ahh, another misguided comment from someone looking to preserve his “freedom” to be pay Bob Greczyn’s $4 million salary, and to be cancelled by BCBS or to be denied coverage for pre-exisitng “conditions” if he ever gets sick.

  4. Jeff

    November 10, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Not really misguided Rob, and my freedom is worth more to me than my health. What’s the point in living if you are to be a slave to any government?

    What you don’t understand is that our governments have caused just as much pain in the health care industry as any insurance company. Why don’t you ask one of our NC house reps or senators why we can’t go across state lines and by health insurance, or why state laws prevent hospitals and providers from building care facilities on every corner to promote competition and lower prices for goods and services?

    I’m not misguided by any streach of the imagination…. although I meet many people every day who are.

  5. Lou Meyers

    November 10, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Jeff, we are presently slaves to a corporate controlled government. This is what we are trying to change my brother. Take insurance companies out of the equation and then our government can finally work for us.

    Buying insurance across state lines? There is one billing clerk for every doctor. Do you want to make it 50? And who is going to regulate these little monsters to keep them from ripping us off—- cause they damn sure will!

    You mention that state laws prevent hospitals and providers from competing? Who do you think controls state legislators?

    Freedom from corporate government and good health —–this our fight. Please join us.

  6. Quizzical

    November 11, 2009 at 7:22 am

    The “Senate health reform bill taxes health insurance policies held by super-wealthy executives,” says Adam. Really? Actually the provision is more likely to ensnare union workers and public employees – folks who negotiated richer benefits over pay raises multiple times over many years. That’s why the trade unions are so adamantly opposed to the provision.

    Adam knows this. But he’s pretending he doesn’t so he can make this all about Blue Cross, his favorite foil. Please. You can’t be sanctimonious AND intellectually dishonest. Pick one.

  7. Jeff

    November 11, 2009 at 8:34 am

    Lou, You and I are not too far off. My issues are with a controling government at all levels. Our government has gotten so large because they are in the pockets of big corporations.

    Here’s how I see it, it may be pie in the sky and too simple minded, but it’s how I do the math.
    If we shrink government at all levels (federal, state and local) then corporate tyranny is checked. Our laws and lawmakers should protect the individual’s liberties and contracts. They should protect private propery and allow each and every one of us to decide which business we choose to support with our own dollars.

    I know corporations and money control most of our state reps and federal reps for that matter, and belive me I have said as much to their faces. I just want to be left alone and I want you to be left alone and together you and I will make this the America we were supposed to be.

  8. IBXer

    November 11, 2009 at 10:36 am

    The problem is a basic lack of understanding of economics. The left bash our current system because they say “free-markets” don’t work. The problem is we do not live in afree market society. We live in a corporatist welfare state, which is very far removed from a capitalist state.

    The corporatist welfare state that you guys continuously rail against is created by the symbiotic relationship between business and state. The problem with the left is that you think you are angry at capitalism and so all of your ideas to fix problems only strengthen the corporatist welfare state that you loath.

  9. Lou Meyers

    November 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Jeff —–to enjoy life and liberty—— you must first have a body and preferably a healthy body. You want simplicity? Bump up the medicare payroll rate (not federal tax rate), let OUR government pay the PRIVATE hospitals and PRIVATE doctors and be done with it! Far less socialist than our government owned, government run schools and fire departments! There won’t be any more one million dollar H1N1 hospital stays bankrupting American families. Families like yours and mine.

    Not happy with what treatment our government decides to pay for — no problem- there will be 300 million of us to back you up. No more fighting for your life or the lives of your loved ones in a lonely health care hell ——as we will all be in this together —- as it is in every other civilized country in this 21st century!

    There is a reason Rush has an 8 year, over 400 million dollar contract. It is the same reason that there are 6 medical industrial lobbyists for each member of congress. It is to drive the single payer logic into oblivion and to divide us up so they can pick us (and our bank accounts) off one by one. When those of us who want freedom from corporate government, as we both do, catch ourselves standing on the same side as this army of corporate lobbyists — the obvious wrong side— we will finally step across and join our brothers and sisters —-together in the pursuit of happiness. Even the double talking Glenn Beck and a 400 million dollar windbag won’t be able to stop us!

  10. IBXer

    November 12, 2009 at 11:04 am

    “When those of us who want freedom from corporate government, as we both do, catch ourselves standing on the same side as this army of corporate lobbyists — the obvious wrong side— we will finally step across and join our brothers and sisters —-together in the pursuit of happiness.”

    So your answer to the problem is to strengthen the bond between business and state? That is just really sad.

  11. Lou Meyers

    November 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    IBXer, my emphasis is pretty clear —- you seem confused —
    in any case, a transparent bond between business and state, that works for the betterment of the country, is preferred to the corrosive bond that is eating through our democracy.

  12. IBXer

    November 13, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Transparency? You mean like the kind Obama promised?

  13. Lou Meyers

    November 13, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Yes —– like the kind he promised. Has he delivered? No he hasn’t.
    We can agree on that.

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