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Hearings Launch on Blues Overhaul

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WKAR File Photo

A state Senate committee began its examination Wednesday of a proposed overhaul of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan. Governor Rick Snyder and Blue Cross leaders have called for making the Blues a not-for-profit company that’s less regulated, but pays taxes. 

Blue Cross is Michigan’s largest health insurer and a not-for-profit charity that’s mission is to make sure everyone has coverage. 

Dan Loepp is the CEO of Blue Cross. He says the changes will make Blue Cross more nimble and able to compete in the marketplace under the new federal healthcare law -- but without changing its mission. He says the plan does not put Blue Cross on a path to becoming a for-profit insurer. 

“We don’t philosophically believe in for-profit healthcare," he says. "I think it’s just another layer that’s a detriment to subscribers.”

But Blue Cross does have some for-profit subsidiaries. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says there should be a thorough, independent audit of all the Blues’ assets and finances before the changeover is allowed to occur.

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