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From what I am hearing, the primary reason that the public health insurance option scares the shit out of the private sector insurers is the possibility, and probability, that employers who pay for expensive private insurance to cover their employees will immediately dump their private insurers and instruct their employees to sign up for the public health insurance plan.  The assumptions are that the government option will me more efficient and cost less to administer since the enormous costs of advertising, highly paid boards and executives, and the legions of administrative minions who are paid to second guess physicians will simply not be necessary to deliver high quality health care.  But what price will we collectively pay as a society?  What will we be missing?  Well, for one thing, we will be missing.......  

the sight of the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ Blimp.  The blimp even has a detailed schedule of its activities and an interactive photo gallery on its own dedicated featured site on the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ web page.  It is all great fun, of course, but how much does these aeronautical capers cost Horizon?  According to an article written in 2006 Linked Here, the 22 week blimp tour for 2006 cost $1.2 million and was described by Horizon as:

"People like it and get excited when they see it, and it's been a cost-effective way for us to market during the summer months,"

The article also states:

The company measures the blimp's advertising effectiveness by number of impressions--the number of people who see the blimp. Last year, the blimp had more than 107 million impressions,

Perhaps I'm different, but when I see the Horizon blimp, I also get excited and have impressions.  Bad impressions.  I look at it and wonder how many contested lab tests, how many delayed mammograms, how many denied procedures is this advertising boondoggle costing the people who are insured by Horizon Blue Cross.  Horizon executives may see a giant advertising bargain floating over the New Jersey beaches in the summer, but I see a flying blue and white elephant of health insurance excess and waste.  So please  tell me that the public health insurance option will not now, and never have a blimp.  The funding that we spend on healthcare should be going deliver healthcare to people and not be squandered on advertising flights of fancy like the Horizon blimp.

Originally posted to MrJersey on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 03:49 PM PDT.

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