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.