Blue Cross of California on Thursday launched an advertising campaign to oppose health insurance market reforms that are being proposed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Democratic lawmakers as part of their plans to overhaul California's health care system, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports.
Blue Cross, the state's largest health insurer, in Thursday's Sacramento Bee ran an ad that compared the health care reform proposals to the energy deregulation in 1996 that led to blackouts and other problems in the energy market. The insurer has committed $2 million to the campaign.
Blue Cross opposes provisions in proposals by the governor, Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez (D-Los Angeles) and Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) that would require insurers to sell policies to everyone, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.
Ann-Louise Kuhns, vice president of Blue Cross of California, said, "We've got more than one million members who could face very significant [premium] increases under some of these proposals." Kuhns said the insurer supports expanding public subsidies to provide health coverage to more residents but opposes any changes to the insurance market.
Support for Health Care Reform
Blue Cross is the lone insurer in California that publicly opposes Schwarzenegger's and the Democrats' reform proposals. The insurer formed a political committee called The Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Reform, but so far it is the committee's only member.