Blue Cross outsourcing shows need for single payer

By Rick Ford
Letters, The Palm Beach Post, Sept. 7, 2011

The excellent reporting by The Post's Stacey Singer ("Blue Cross shifts business/cuts rates") revealed that Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida has outsourced the management of its mental health network to an out-of-state company, which will ration the delivery of mental health care by hiring fewer doctors and therapists and paying these providers less.

This is probably only the first of many sub-specialties of medicine such as dermatology, ophthalmology, general surgery and podiatry in which health care and doctors will be rationed by Blue Cross via middleman corporations in order to assure profitability. There is no evidence that decreasing the number of doctors and therapists available or paying the remainder of Blue Cross health care doctors less will improve the quality of care. Despite this, Florida patients and businesses can be assured that their insurance premiums and out- of-pocket expenses to Blue Cross will not be reduced.

The future of health care does not involve hiring more for-profit middle-men corporations to ration quality health care at the expense of patients and small businesses.

Single-payer national health insurance based on Medicare would prevent this abuse of Florida's patients and small businesses by multi-level for-profit health insurance companies by providing publicly financed, privately delivered health care for all Floridians at lower cost.

Editor's note: Rick Ford is the president of Floridians for Health Care, which favors a single-payer system of health care insurance. He resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.