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Thursday, September 7th 2006

Do The Blues Want Universal Healthcare?

The Healthcare Blog gives a glance to a BC/BS of Minnesota proposed plan to require all residents to obtain healthcare.

So it appears that little by little the non-profit Blues are coming around to the fact that they have to have some plan in place to survive the coming revolution. This assumes that their future is a choice between being state regulated utilities in a multi-payer universal care system, or being replaced by the government in a single payer system. And there’s little doubt which one they’d rather take.

“This Isn’t What I Had In Mind! This Isn’t What I Had In Mind At All!”

The St. Paul Pioneer gives some voice to the plan’s critics and the BC/BS response,

Critics point out that insurers such as Blue Cross have financial incentives in promoting mandated insurance, because it would guarantee them additional members and premium dollars. By taking control of the universal health care debate, insurers also discourage the idea of government taking over health care funding and putting private health plans out of business.

Blue Cross wrote the report in response to rising uninsured rates, not because of potential financial gains, said Cindy Goff, director of public policy. While Minnesota has the nation’s lowest uninsured rate, it has increased from 5.6 percent in 2000 to 7.4 percent in 2004, according to state health estimates.

These mandate plans are as close as I get to supporting universal coverage. I have to say though, the weight is growing and sooner or later we’re going to have to be able to provide healthcare access to all and start cutting down on costs (although I think the latter has to start with personal responsibility – put down the taco!). Who knows what the future holds, but for those who oppose signle payor (and are pragmatic) these sort of “require insurance” proposals should start looking real good.