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Capital Blue Cross Issues Statement on Withdrawal of Merger
Date:1/21/2009

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement can be attributed to Michael J. Merenda, Executive Vice President, Capital BlueCross:

"Capital BlueCross has consistently said two things: We are not inherently opposed to this or any other merger. But we have urged public policy makers to think long and hard before approving this proposed merger without conditions, because without conditions the merger would create a single entity controlling 70 percent of Pennsylvania's commercial health insurance market.

"Under the leadership of Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario, the Commonwealth has done an exemplary job of providing that thoughtful analysis. Commissioner Ario's thorough process sets the standard for review of such complex public-policy proposals.

"The two moving parties announced today that they have decided for their own reasons not to proceed with the merger.

"For us, the withdrawal of their application changes nothing. Our corporate focus will be the same tomorrow as it is today and was yesterday: To do everything we can to help our customers to control health care costs in this most challenging economy. As long as we do that, we will serve our members well, regardless of what other players might do.

"But we do hope that state policy makers will regard this decision as the conclusion of a chapter, not a story. Commissioner Ario's hearings shined a stark light on numerous structural challenges in the Pennsylvania health insurance marketplace, and it is important those challenges continue to be considered, debated and addressed. State Sen. Don White, whose leadership on this issue also has been exemplary, already has indicated he will do just that, and we applaud his commitment and look forward to working with him.

"In the meantime, we look forward to hearing the further comments Commissioner Ario has said he intends to share t
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SOURCE Capital BlueCross
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