These people remind me of our illustrious Attorney General Mike Cox. So fevered in his desire to win the love of the state's right wingers in his bid to be Governor that he talks out of both sides of his mouth when trying to attack that favorite Republican target, Blue Cross Blue Shield. Cox will try to argue one minute that Blue Cross needs to do more to cover the uninsured:
"Let us not forget the mission of Blue Cross is to put people over profits and not profits over people."
But then the next week Cox will turn around and try to knee cap Blue Cross' ability to do that very mission. Just as Blue Cross reports mammoth losses, Cox is trying to follow the GOP playbook of starving the beast in order to drown it in the bath tub. Blue Cross announced losses of $144.9 million in 2008 ("losses in the individual market... could exceed $1 billion by 2011") and plans to eliminate 1,000 jobs yet Cox is fighting the plans of the 'insurer of last resort' to stay solvent. It's obvious what he's doing yet media reports neglect to mention that he seems to want it both ways. He pretends to like Blue Cross' effort to insure the poor yet he does everything he can to prevent them from doing that. While private health care costs sky rocket, Republicans like Cox use BCBS's own mission statement as a cudgel to beat it to death by blocking any possible rate increases, saying it would hurt the poor people Blue Cross is in existence to serve (who would be hurt even more if Blue Cross were killed or privatized as Republican allies like the Mackinac Center have long wished).
For years, Republicans have dreamed of doing away with Blue Cross- just look at how much furor the notion of a "public option" has gotten in the national debate as it goes against everything the modern hyper-capitalists believe in (unregulated markets, a government that competes with the private sector or does what the private sector is unwilling or unable to do). Then look back here at Michigan and ask yourself if these people are really worried that any health care reform which includes the public option won't work... or that it will.