Top executives from leading Blues plans said that a public insurance plan option being proposed by some congressional Democrats as part of overall healthcare reform would severely curtail innovation and be a Trojan horse for a single-payer system.
Creating a government-run plan that will compete with the private sector will thwart innovation, said Scott Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Serota, along with the CEOs of Blues plans in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and New Jersey, held a news conference highlighting Blues pilot projects on patient-centered medical homes and wellness that they say have lowered healthcare costs and improved outcomes in recent years.
They said such innovations would be impossible if they had to compete with a government-run plan.
A government health plan will likely destroy the private marketplace because of cost-shifting, said Bill Marino, president and CEO of Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey. Marino said that providers would likely be paid rates similar to Medicare under a public-plan option, placing more of a cost burden on private insurers. The executives added that the private sector today is more innovative than Medicare.
Tom Bowser, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, which serves both Missouri and Kansas, said that a government-run plan would be a Trojan horse for a single-payer healthcare system that would ill-serve millions of Americans who are happy with their employer-based benefits today.