I like the direction of things! So, Blue Cross Blue Shield is not included in the state's employee health care plan, the Group Insurance Commission. Too expensive, and GIC chief Dolores Mitchell says tough luck, no Blue.
Well well well, now that the state is actively encouraging more municipal unions to get their health care through the GIC — saving big bucks in the process — guess who's singing Baby Come Back?
At least eight municipal health plans have signed on to the state plan, known as the Group Insurance Commission, or GIC, ahead of a Monday deadline for 2008 enrollment. Blue Cross is fighting back with a publicity offensive that asserts its plans for municipalities can save them as much money as the GIC.
The stakes are high because rising health insurance costs for public employees at the local level are stretching already-tight budgets, and municipal officials are considering all options for controlling spending. The GIC, which covers about 280,000 state employees and dependents, usually keeps its annual premium increases beneath the double-digit range that has been the norm for Massachusetts health insurers over the past seven years.
See, competition works! And why not have the government compete?
Now, let's keep that in mind in 2009, when a Democratic president proposes buy-in to Medicare as a public alternative to private insurance. Fetishizing the “private sector” and keeping the government out of certain functions actually diminishes competition. I don't care where I get my health care, as long as I get it, and it's decent. If it's the government that provides, pays for, or negotiates for it, fine.