Facing South

N.C. Blue Cross asks customers to lobby against public option

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina wants its customers to help the company lobby against a public health insurance option to provide the insurance giant with some competition.

To that end, the company is sending postcards to its customers in the state addressed to Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). The cards -- a copy of which was obtained by N.C. Policy Watch's Progressive Pulse blog -- state:

Senator Hagan,

Please oppose government-run health insurance. We can meet our health care challenges without the government unfairly competing with the private sector. Tell Senate leaders that North Carolina doesn't need government-run insurance.

As Adam Searing of the Progressive Pulse points out, Blue Cross controls 96.8% of the market share for individual health insurance plans in North Carolina. The company also holds 53% of the state's commercial health insurance market, according to a recent report from Health Care for America Now.

Searing writes of Blue Cross's lobbying push:

This sort of nasty, last-ditch effort to oppose real health reform is just what you would expect from the company who brought you the $3.99 million nonprofit CEO salary.

But some Blue Cross Blue Shield customers in North Carolina are striking back by writing pro-public option messages on the postcards and having them delivered to Hagan on the company's dime. To see a photo of one such altered postcard, click here.

To date, Blue Cross Blue Shield has donated more than $15,000 to Hagan's campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org database. That makes it her ninth-biggest contributor.

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re: N.C. Blue Cross asks customers to lobby against public optio

All that I can say is that these insurance companies are CROOKS and will continue to be until we do something about it. Going to the bankowners homes and protesting. Don't you think it is about time?

re: N.C. Blue Cross asks customers to lobby against public optio

I got one of the cards and crossed out "oppose" in red and wrote in "SUPPORT" above it and the crossed out the rest of the message in red, signed my name and will send it to Sen. Hagan on BCBS's postage dime!

re: N.C. Blue Cross asks customers to lobby against public optio

First I got the robocall that said they would send a postcard. It was obvious what they were doing. So when I received the postcard in the mail, a few days ago.... I tore it up and threw it away. I wish I had this information then.
Great idea. I'm sure I will have an opportunity to use this idea in the future.
Thanks.