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Local Patients and Nurses Slam Blue Shield’s Practices Protest

Tuesday, February 01, 2011
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Blue Shield San Francisco HQ, 50 Beale St.
Near Market 2 blocks from First St.

(SAN FRANCISCO) California patients hurt by Blue Shield’s efforts to sharply hike rates will join members of the California Nurses Association and local healthcare advocates at a major protest against Blue Shield’s actions.

WHAT: Local Patients and Nurses Slam Blue Shield’s Practices

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Blue Shield San Francisco HQ, 50 Beale St.

Local patients will describe the direct harm they will suffer or have suffered as a result Blue Shield’s unethical business practices, and will be joined by nurses and healthcare advocates making the case for fundamental reform and an end to the "health tyranny" of the Blue Shields of the world.

Patients, nurses, and consumer advocates will condemn Blue Shield’s decision to ignore widespread opposition to its outlandish rate hikes of up to 59 percent for individuals at a time even other major insurers are delaying premium increases.

Nurses will also present new data revealing that, in addition to its price gouging, Blue Shield denied two million patient claims last year, and present calls for much greater transparency and accountability by Blue Shield, which refuses to release details of its executive compensation.

"Blue Shield’s behavior is Exhibit A that the private insurance system is a failed business model," said CNA/NNU Co-president DeAnn McEwen, RN. "Until we can enact a more humane healthcare system based on patient need rather than insurance industry profits we are likely to continue to see such routine abuses by Blue Shield and the other insurance corporations."

Blue Shield in January announced rate hikes for individual patients of up to 59 per cent, following other sharp premium increases in September 2010 and January 2011. Blue Shield refused a request from California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to temporarily delay the increase so that it could be studied, and ducked calls from outside groups to reveal the salaries of its top executives, including CEO Bruce Bodaken, or explain its hoarding of nearly $3 billion of "excess revenue."

Nurses will discuss how Blue Shield’s practices illustrate the ongoing reckless behavior of the private insurance giants, and serve as a reminder of the need for far-reaching healthcare reform to remove the stranglehold of private insurers on our healthcare system.

Our demonstrations are always fun and high energy - if you are in the area and can spare a little time, come on down - join the fun! And make your voice heard.
An added note: Our insurance commissioner has authority to regulate rates for homeowners and auto insurance. But no such authority for health insurance. This year Dave Jones plans to push the legislature to give him that authority, or so he told me at his inauguration. He will need your support to get it done. He knows, as I do, that single payer is the real solution. But until that day comes there is an opportunity to help real people by creating some meaningful regulation of the insurance industry.

Added to the calendar on Fri, Jan 28, 2011 8:45PM
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