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House Healthcare Bill: Government-Run Plan, Other Key Provisions Undermine Goals of Access and Affordability
Date:10/29/2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) issued the following statement regarding today's announcement by the House leadership of healthcare reform legislation that would include a new government-run health plan:

The 39 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies strongly support passing bipartisan comprehensive healthcare reform this year that will expand access to affordable coverage and rein in costs for everyone. We agree with the goal of the legislation to cover all Americans.

While we are still reviewing the legislation, we are very disappointed that many of the provisions in the "Affordable Health Care for America Act" unveiled today would undermine the very policy objectives we collectively hope to achieve. The proposed creation of a new government-run health plan -- which could be open to everyone through the new federal exchange beginning 2015 -- would jeopardize affordability and access to coverage for the 160 million people who receive their benefits through their employers today. The bill also would undermine affordability by allowing people to wait until they are sick to buy coverage, setting higher minimum benefit packages than people commonly purchase today, and placing an unfair burden on younger people by restricting age discounts.

Government-run health plan

A new government-run plan is unnecessary to achieve reform and would have devastating consequences. Millions of people would lose their current private coverage they are happy with. In addition, the government will underpay providers - even if negotiated rates are initially used - creating major access issues, including long waits for services with some providers closing their doors. It also would undermine delivery system reforms critical to improving quality and controlling costs.

A government-run plan will use its built-in advantages - no matter ho
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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