Health Care for America NOW, a health care reform advocacy group which strongly supports the president’s “public option,” put up a billboard this week attacking Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s hold of the North Carolina health insurance market. The billboard is located on the interstate 440 beltline and pictures a cemetery with blue crosses; the heading reads “Health Coverage Denied.” Two other similar billboards were purchased in Delaware and Arkansas by the same group.
Two points to make here:
1. Arguing against the power of BCBS in the state misses the mark. BCBS owns a majority portion of the market share in NC in large part because of government regulation of the insurance market. One protestor’s story taken from the article cited above is that of a man who wants the government to reform the insurance market because his son’s insurance premium increased by 700 percent when he moved to North Carolina from New Jersey. This is no doubt outrageous – but what if the government allowed people to buy health insurance across state lines? He could have kept his previous health insurance and not been forced into a BCBS plan.
2. So much for the left protesting fear tactics – they’ve more so embraced it. Erecting a billboard that pictures a BSBC-themed cemetery? Doesn’t really fit into the sound and unbiased debate we were all looking forward to.