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Sun Sep 23, 2012, 11:50 PM

Anthem Blue Cross eliminates doctors affiliated with UCLA and Cedars Sinai [View all]


Two of the most prestigious names in Southern California healthcare--Cedars-Sinai and UCLA--are getting shut out of a major insurance plan for being too expensive.

In a bold cost-cutting move, Anthem Blue Cross has eliminated doctors affiliated with the hospitals from a health plan offered to about 60,000 employees and dependents at the cash-strapped city of Los Angeles.

The city opted for Anthem's plan because it will save $7.6 million in annual premiums next year by excluding physicians from the two institutions known for tending to the Southland's rich and famous

Comment by Don McCanne of PNHP: The explosion in limited-network private insurance plans is taking choice away from more and more patients. The business tools that private insurers use to control costs are very different from the patient-service tools of a single payer national health program. Not only do the private insurers' tools restrict patients' care, but they are also quite ineffective in controlling overall spending, as is demonstrated by the fact that our health care costs are about twice the average of other nations.

Under a single payer system, all legitimate costs are paid by the government and are not linked to specific health plans assigned to different individuals - a very inefficient and fragmented method of financing health care. Using the example of UCLA, there would be no tiers of private coverage and no problem with an underfunded Medicaid program. The hospital costs would be globally budgeted, just as are police and fire departments. Separate, extraordinary costs of research functions would be funded through our National Institutes of Health. Education grants can be provided through the global budgeting process since house staff members are, from a financing perspective, really just low-paid hospital employees.

We need to get WellPoint/Anthem Blue Cross and their ilk out of our health care and out of our lives. Let's improve our own Medicare program and then provide it for everyone.

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Reply Anthem Blue Cross eliminates doctors affiliated with UCLA and Cedars Sinai [View all]
eridani Sep 2012 OP
diabeticman Sep 2012 #1
eridani Sep 2012 #2
ChazII Sep 2012 #3
eridani Sep 2012 #5
HiPointDem Sep 2012 #4