The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Engler and BCBSM fight over money

Feb 18, 2002

In recent local news, BCBSM has been the center of attention. Michigan’s governor has accused BCBSM of mismanagement, claiming that this resulted in the loss of about 400 million dollars in the small group market. He has demanded reorganization of the Board of Directors and dramatically increased control by the State over the Board.

Blue Cross spokesmen have argued that unfair regulations have caused them to have to charge higher rates. The Blues say they want to remain not-for-profit, but they want other insurers to have to play by the same rules. Of course, they don’t mention that they get an extra tax break because of their not-for-profit status.

One thing is for certain. Major, powerful interests are clashing over who will control the Michigan health insurance market. And it is not a clash to see who will improve health care, or make it more accessible to everyone by making it less expensive for all. It is a clash to determine what capitalists get what profits off of health care in Michigan, and how much.

Isn’t it already outrageous enough that the unemployed, underemployed, and many elderly people are already deprived of medical attention? Recently released statistics show Detroit leading the nation in infant mortality rates. With all the billions of dollars of wealth produced by workers in Southeast Michigan there is no lack of money. The crime is that this money goes to line the pockets of the already rich instead of going to provide for health care needs.