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Nurses, Seniors, Unions, and Community Members to Protest Anthem/Blue Cross-Unreasonable rate hikes

Press Release, 9/4/13

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Thursday -- San Francisco 

Unreasonable rate hikes on small businesses, substandard “drug store” clinic care unacceptable

Just as California is rolling out the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Anthem Blue Cross is raising premiums on small business and referring patients to substandard retail clinics. In response, the Campaign for a Healthy California, a coalition of nurses, seniors, labor unions, and concerned community members, are calling for the eviction of the insurance giant from the healthcare delivery system in an action at its San Francisco headquarters this Thursday.

Anthem Blue Cross withdrew from the small business exchange in July when confronted with a California insurance commissioner recommendation that it be excluded  because of its pattern of excessive and unjustified rate increases on California small businesses.

“The ACA left insurance companies like Anthem Blue Cross in charge of our healthcare system,” said Zenei Cortez, a Kaiser South San Francisco recovery room RN and co-president of CNA/NNU. “Anthem’s policy of driving people into ‘cheaper’ substandard care delivered in retail stores demonstrates the inherent problem with insurance-based healthcare—cost savings trumps patient safety. That’s why nurses have fought long and hard for an expansion of Medicare for everyone.”

 

What:         Protest against Anthem Blue Cross for lowering healthcare standards and raising rates

When:         Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.

Where:       2 Embarcadero Center, Clay and Davis Streets—San Francisco.

Gather at the bottom of the escalator on the street level
 

“As seniors, we have experienced and enjoyed healthcare that doesn’t involve insurance companies,” said Michael Lyon, a board member of the California Alliance for Retired Americans. “We think all healthcare should look like that. We’ve seen what happens when insurance companies encroach on healthcare, such as what’s happened with the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. It’s not a pretty picture. We believe private, for-profit healthcare insurance doesn’t belong in anyone’s healthcare and that’s why we think Anthem/Blue Cross should be evicted from our healthcare system.”

The protest is being organized by a coalition including the Campaign for a Healthy California, the California Nurses Association, California Alliance for Retired Americans, Jobs with Justice, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Central Labor Council.

The Anthem Blue Cross protest is part of the Fight for a Fair Economy, Fight for Jobs with Justice, a series of actions taking place throughout the Bay Area that included the low-wage fast food workers rally, a push for a California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights legislation, a march to support legislation to stop San Francisco from detaining undocumented immigrants, and a rally in support of the Walmart 60.

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