Just when I thought Regence Blue Cross of Oregon couldn't irritate me further -- after many years of double-digit premium increases, after trying to deny my plan-switch application because of two minor preexisting conditions -- they're now part of an effort to scuttle health care reform.
Deeply irritating. I emailed Regence yesterday, telling them that this subscriber of theirs wasn't happy that health insurers have emerged as the top foe of reform efforts.
I note that you are a member of AHIP, which is actively trying to stop health care reform efforts. Do you support AHIP? If so, you certainly don't represent my wife and me, who have been long-time purchasers of your insurance.
Your web site touts your recognition of the need to improve this country's health care system. Yet if you endorse AHIP's anti-reform lobbying, this is hypocritical. Please let me know your position on the Senate Finance committee's bill that was passed out today, and which is being opposed by the organization you belong to.
I haven't gotten a response from Regence yet.
So I'm assuming that since Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon is a member of AHIP (America's Health Insurance Plans), the organization I fork over a lot of money to each month is a backer of AHIP's dishonest attempt to make the Senate reform bill look a lot worse than it really is.
PolitiFact, an independent political bullshit checker, found that the AHIP-sponsored study which claims that premiums will increase steeply if the bill passes was seriously flawed.
Getting back to our ruling, DeParle criticized the health insurance industry report on the grounds that it was an incomplete analysis. She said it "ignores some of the key policies that are part of the Senate Finance Committee bill." The report itself admits as much. We rate her statement True.
Thus Regence Blue Cross of Oregon is supporting a last-ditch attempt to derail health insurance reform. Not by engaging in straightforward debate on the issues, but by cherry-picking a few elements of the Senate Finance committee bill and ignoring other cost-saving features.
AHIP should have stopped while it was ahead. Many progressives, including me, consider the Senate bill a giveaway to the health insurance industry. Regence and other insurers would have been wise to embrace it, rather than attempt to kill it.
Now, Congressional Democrats irritated at AHIP's heavy-handed and duplicitous lobbying efforts are threatening some blowback. Like, taking away the health insurance industry's cozy exemption from anti-trust laws.
Sounds good to me.
The Dems also need to make sure that a public option is in the final bill. I want to be able to vote with my health insurance premium and tell Regence Blue Cross of Oregon "goodbye" after it tried to scuttle much-needed reform.