The N&O reports today that the state’s largest insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield sent out a prepaid mailer asking people to contact Kay Hagan to oppose the government Public Option plan. The mailer was received shortly after customers were informed their premiums would increase by an average of 11% next year.
The backlash against BCBS has been tremendous. People are appalled that their money would be spent by the insurance company for its own lobbying efforts as opposed to providing their customers much needed health care. The result is that customers are using the mailers to inform Kay Hagan they support the Public Option – in a desperate effort to topple the insurance giant.
And yet as experience dictates, all that glitters is not gold…
Don’t be mislead by those regarding this as a textbook battle between evil insurance company and benevolent government. Rather it is more so the outcome of decades of dealings between the two entities. Blue Cross and Blue Shield didn’t secure 72.5% of North Carolina’s health insurance market share solely through its own efforts. They have been top supporters of government mandates and restrictions that have prevented the emergence of any insurance competitors in the state.
So don’t be too certain BCBS won’t have anything to gain by the government’s further involvement in the health insurance market… even via a public option.