President Barack Obama has issued the call for the medical insurance industry to produce significant reform so millions of Americans still uncovered or underinsured by the healthcare insurance industry can obtain affordable medical care and to rein in the skyrocketing cost of premiums for the individuals who do have access to it.  In response, Blue Cross Blue Shield has notified the Washington Post that it has an ad campaign in the development stage that will lambaste many of the reforms advocated by the president.

According to the president, in the next decade, the United States will be investing as much as 20% of the nation’s economy on healthcare expenses while getting less benefit from the expenditure.  He’s also expressed the opinion that the current state of medical care in the US is one reason for the current economic crisis.

Many medical industry leaders have become active participants in the government’s on-going discussion of healthcare reform but the medical insurance industry has remained in strong opposition to some issues currently being debated, especially the possibility of a government-sponsored healthcare plan.  Insurance industry leaders say a government-based plan would put the industry in competition with the government and seriously undermine its ability to make money.  According to Lew Borman, a Blue Cross Blue Shield spokesperson, there are better ways to go.

The insurance industry giant proposes instead to build on the current employer-based healthcare plans that cover approximately 160 million Americans at the moment.  To broadcast their opposition to a government-sponsored program, Blue Cross Blue Shield has hired a media firm to produce videos that will be posted on the internet later this year.

The videos will play to the fears of a socialized medical system while addressing the possibility of private sector insurance innovation and improvement.  According to Borman, three key strategies for stopping the ever-rising costs of health care in America are:

  • Improvement of both quality and effectiveness over the current level of care
  • Promotion of better health via lifestyle change and prevention
  • The insurance industry’s willingness to continue providing better care, not merely more care

If adapted, the plan President Obama has described calls for a non-profit plan, run by the federal government, that will provide coverage to all Americans who do not qualify or cannot afford insurance from the employer-based private sector.  One particular benefit to the president’s program would be the elimination of pricey salaries at the executive level.