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Universal Healthcare Advocacy Group Cautions Against GHI/HIP Conversion

Today's Times Union ran an editorial by Richard Propp, M.D., chair of the Capital District Alliance For Universal Healthcare Inc. raising questions regarding the GHI/HIP conversion.

The huge combined health insurance company GHI/HIP wants to convert from nonprofit to for-profit status. Shocked? I doubt it. Empire Blue Cross-Blue Shield set the example in 2002. . . .

The Capital District Alliance for Universal Healthcare believes that health care is a necessity and a social good, and that everyone should have access to high-quality, appropriate and necessary health care. The GHI/HIP "for profit" quest does not appear to further that goal.

Dr. Propp points out that in four other states, proposed not-for-profit to for-profit conversions have been turned down after scrutiny by regulators, and he raises a number of questions about the conversion and the way the conversion is being handled by the Insurance Department, including the following:

  • What are the consequences of the company going from an ethic of subscriber value to one of shareholder value?
  • Will the need to assure adequate profits mean premiums will increase and that more care will be denied or delayed?
  • 2.7 million people lack health insurance in New York. What effect will conversion have on that number?
  • How much of the new revenues generated by going for-profit will finance GHI/HIP lobbyists, and will they work for consumers or shareholders?
  • Are there no other management alternatives to for-profit? Are relevant studies being carried out by this administration?
  • GHI/HIP has $900 million in reserves and just bought Connecticare for $350 million. Why does GHI/HIP need for-profit status to secure its future?

Read the full article (time limited) here.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 29, 2008 10:16 AM.

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