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Making Healthcare More Affordable Is a National Priority
Date:6/16/2008

Statement from Scott P. Serota, President and CEO Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

WASHINGTON, June 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scott P. Serota, president and chief executive officer of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), released the following statement regarding today's Senate Finance Committee Summit, "Prepare for Launch: Health Reform Summit 2008." The bipartisan event, sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA), featured several healthcare industry leaders, researchers and stakeholders, including Serota:

"It is unacceptable that 30 percent of healthcare spending goes toward care that is ineffective, redundant or inappropriate. Unless we tackle this problem head-on, we as a nation will not be able to afford extending coverage to the 47 million who lack health insurance and improve our healthcare system for everyone.

"We can achieve this Summit's vision - universal, affordable health coverage - but only if we change our healthcare delivery system to incent high-quality care and make coverage more affordable.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans bring a unique perspective to the discussion. Blue Plans have nearly 80 years of experience and we insure more than 100 million people, one of every 3 Americans. They provide coverage in every geographic area and every market - individual, small employer, large national accounts, and government programs. Importantly, Blue Plans have a strong foundation in every state and local community, with long-standing ties to local providers and the people they serve.

"Earlier this year, we released a comprehensive, five-part proposal - The Pathway to Covering America - designed to build on today's employer-based system to improve the quality and value of our healthcare system, while simultaneously extending coverage to all.

"The proposal builds on five key initiatives:

1. Encouraging Research on What Works;

2. Changing Incentives to Promote Better Care;

3. Empowering Consumers and Providers;

4. Promoting Health and Wellness; and

5. Fostering Public-Private Coverage Solutions

"We in the Blues are committed to working with Congress and other stakeholders to deliver on the promise of the initiatives in The Pathway to Covering America. We applaud policymakers for making healthcare reform a top domestic priority, and we urge Congress to take immediate action to improve the quality and value of our healthcare system so we can expand coverage to everyone."

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 100 million individuals - one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit http://www.BCBS.com.


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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
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