Categorized | Health

Anthem BlueCross Debunks Lies In Last Sundays Times Dispatch Op Ed

The letter to the editor listed below appeared in the Sunday, Nov. 8 edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The letter was submitted to address inaccuracies in Dr. Mark Ryan’s Op/Ed column Health Care: Only the Public Option can Resuscitate Reform that ran Friday, Oct. 30.

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

After reading Dr. Mark Ryan’s Oct. 30 Op/Ed column [“Health Care: Only the Public Option Can Resuscitate Reform”], I felt compelled on behalf of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to address a few glaring inaccuracies that need to be corrected.

First, Ryan incorrectly stated that WellPoint, the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, made $61 billion in profit in 2008. The number Ryan used as profit was actually the revenue figure of a company with 40,000 employees and 34 million members. WellPoint’s actual profit in 2008 was $2.5 billion, which yielded a 4 percent profit margin. The net profit margin for the health insurance industry as a whole is generally 3 percent to 6 percent, ranking it 35th among 53 industries ranked by Fortune magazine.

Second, Ryan is incorrect when he claims we “work to deny care to patients” and “reward” employees for rescissions. Each and every day, our associates work hard to ensure all of our members have access to the care they need under the insurance coverage they have purchased.

Frankly, we found Ryan’s comments to be offensive to the more than 4,000 Anthem-Virginia associates who work hard to provide Virginians with the peace of mind that comes with having Anthem coverage.

Ryan certainly has a right to express his opinion regarding the health care reform debate, and we are open to frank discussions. However, unfounded accusations against Anthem and the hard-working individuals employed here warrant a strong defense.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has long been engaged in the discussion about health care reform, and we have stated on numerous occasions that we support responsible reform, including the elimination of pre-existing conditions and other insurance market reforms if paired with an effective, enforceable personal coverage requirement for everyone to have health insurance. We also oppose the “public option” in part because it, like Medicare and Medicaid, would underpay physicians and hospitals for the services they deliver.

All we ask for in this discussion is the common courtesy of an accurate and fair argument.

Scott Golden
Director, Corporate Communications
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

About Tom White

Tom is a US Navy Veteran, owns an Insurance Agency and is currently an IT Manager for a Virginia Distributor. He has been published in American Thinker, currently writes for the Richmond Examiner as well as Virginia Right! Blog. Tom lives in Hanover County, Va and is involved in politics at every level and is a Recovering Republican who has finally had enough of the War on Conservatives in progress with the Leadership of the GOP on a National Level.

4 Responses to “Anthem BlueCross Debunks Lies In Last Sundays Times Dispatch Op Ed”

  1. T Dunn says:

    Thanks for your well spoken thoughts.
    Common Courtesy, accurate & Fair Judgement – these are things the hard right do not understand or practice.
    Thanks for providing the facts

  2. Q Benedikt says:

    I am very hesitant to wave my private business in public, but it shocks me that there is any uncertainty about the atrocious situation with the healthcare market in Ohio specifically, due in large part to the rigid, profit-minded policies of Anthem. Anthem, which I’m told dominates the Ohio medical insurance market, has the mission of making money for its shareholders, just like any profit business. This does not imply in any way that its management an employees don’t due the best they can to provide medical care.
    However, I am basically in excellent health, but had a skin cancer spot successfully removed 4 or 5 years ago with a clean-bill-of-health granted and no repercussions. Now I am without healthcare but Anthem, I was told will not offer coverage to anyone who has had cancer within 10 years. There was no question of just excluding that condition because it provides undue risk to their stockholders – they will not offer coverage.
    To me this is what happens when you deal with companies that are based on profit and not providing an essential service. If I am to be prudent my financial options must be extraordinarily limited so that I can allow for the potentially unlimited costs of healthcare. If I am not responsible my healthcare will become the unfunded problem of the taxpayers. My potential to take advantage of screenings that could eliminate some diseases that are completely preventable with regular screening(e.g. colon cancer) is gone. If the choices are to burden a private company, like Anthem, with requirements such as they cover anything, or to provide a public option, I can not understand any reason, other than perhaps partisan politics, why there is not a unanimous call for a public option.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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