NC activists target Blue Cross Blue Shield for blocking health care reform

bcbsnc.jpgActivists gathered outside of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of NorthCarolina's headquarters in Chapel Hill Wednesday to protest the privateinsurer's opposition to President Barack Obama's proposed public optionas a part of health care reform.

Blue Cross Blue Shield has been at the forefront of opposing the public option health plan. As the Washington Post reportedin May, BCBSNC has produced several videos -- unaired asof yet -- against a government-sponsored health insurance option.

"We need Blue Cross to stop using our premiums to prevent real healthcare reform and to stop standing in the way of a public option," AdamSearing of the of the N.C. Justice Center's Health Access Coalition, told the Carrboro Citizen.

As Facing South reportedearlier this month, health insurance premiums have skyrocketed, due inpart to private insurers' near-monopolies in many states. BCBSNC has a 72.5 percent market share ofindividual and employer-provided health insurance in North Carolina.

Members of the State Employees Association turned out to the protest,calling for BCBSNC to support a public option that would lower costs toprovide quality, affordable health care for all. SEANC members saidthat BCBSNC has had skyrocketing premiums, co-pays, and deductibles inthe last year. In fact, premiums were so expensive that many peoplewere unable to afford health coverage for their spouses or children.