July 6, 2007

Blue Cross Blue Shield Internal Memos Leaked

Don’t you just love leaked corporate memos?

I do.

They are a window into that which we KNOW exists, yet we are not privvy to very often. Because corporations like to keep their dark, dirty secrets well hidden. Memos give us access to what I call in High Academic Jargonese “Corporate Psychological Interiority,” or to put in simpler language: memos allow us to see corporations crapping in their pants. Gross, but pleasant to see from time to time.

I just got word of leaked memos from the Insurance Company I love to hate: Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The four pages are chock full of interesting stuff, so take a read for yourself. Here, I will only highlight two things:

* Horizon BlueCross/BlueShield is picked out early in the film in a collage of stories citing bad
treatment of members.

And well, as most readers here know, I concur. Well at least
Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey/Horizon can be proud for being one of the worst.

In their concluding talking point sections, they say:

2) The Blues recognize the need for improvement of both the coverage and delivery of healthcare.
But the divisive tone set forth by Michael Moore and his movie “Sicko” is not helpful. Positive
change to our healthcare system can be best achieved through shared responsibility, not
recrimination. To ensure Americans have access to the best healthcare that is both timely,
efficient, and of high quality, requires the collective contribution of all stakeholders
consumers, providers, employers and the government.

Try NOT being angry at a 4,000 dollar bill or worse, an 80,000 dollar bill, or even worse a death.

It is near to impossible to stop the rumblings of anger. We are human beings, after all. We are born with the capacity to think and feel, passionately and deeply.

And some of the best change comes from the fire that is anger and I hope that enough Americans are finally feeling the fire.


  1. In fact I think this movie is having a strong impact outside of the typical Moore “choir”. For example, this blog entry details people from the unlikely state of Texas going through a particularly radical change: http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Sicko-Spurs-Audiences-Into-Action-5639.html

    Comment by micah — July 6, 2007 @ 9:46 am

  2. I think there is strong evidence that this movie is reaching an audience that is outside of Moore’s typical “choir”, for example this blog post details one viewer’s experience going to see Siko in Texas:


    Comment by micah — July 6, 2007 @ 10:03 am

  3. It always seems to me like a weak spot in American culture that we always think friendly cooperation is a more effective route than anger and recrimination. Sure, sometimes cooperation will be the best way to achieve your ends, but sometimes making enemies and forcing people to choose sides is more effective.

    The assumption that cooperation is necessarily better leads to the “stakeholder” mentality shown in that memo. What do they mean by “stakeholders”? The usual purpose of that terminology is to describe a group of opposed interests among whom compromises must be negotiated. It’s hard to see why that’s a good way to think about health care, though. Why frame it as a question of who gets a seat at the table in the health care debate? There are no seats and there is no table. There’s just millions of human beings needing health care. What’s the best way to get it to them? That’s the only question for policy makers.

    Comment by Karl Fogel — July 7, 2007 @ 10:21 am

  4. Exactly Karl. I really like the image you use: It is NOT about who gets a spot at the so called stakeholder table unless the goal is getting everyone to the table, which is why I think it should be framed more as a basic human rights issue.

    Comment by Biella — July 8, 2007 @ 5:45 am

  5. I would haave liked to have commented on this when you posted it, unfortunately I didn’t have anything worthwhile to comment about than.
    Since I’ve had a claim submitted to a collection agency by the provider that Excellus Blue has refused to honor I now have a few things to contribute.
    1: New York’s Attorney General web site has listed Health Insurance complaints as the issue most complained about by New York State residents.
    2: New York State Insurance Complaint Department is online and accepting complaints about Blues and other insurance related issues.

    Remember to save, save, save as much as you possibly can, bills, statements, letters, names, dates and times. A date when the first incident acquired is always helpful (if you only experience one problem consider yourself very lucky) and padding that date is something to be considered, if for nothing else than to let them know, we can play their game too,

    Comment by Will Set — October 3, 2007 @ 8:21 pm

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