Blue Cross at center of debate
on committee hearing on healthcare crisis

(4/13/2004) - “The Healthcare crisis in Southeastern Pennsylvania: The Role of the Health Insurance Industry” was the subject of a U.S. Senate Committee hearing held yesterday in Philadelphia. The special field hearing run by Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, was held at the Federal Courthouse. Witnesses included physicians and representatives from hospitals and Independence Blue Cross.

An article in today’s business section of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Blue Cross was at the center of the hearing’s debate on rising health insurance costs and lower premiums to doctors and hospitals. According to the Inquirer, doctors and hospital executives said that the Pennsylvania-based insurer was paying them too little. Blue Cross executives countered that the high use of health care services and escalating costs of care were the main reasons for premium increases.

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