Baton Rouge, LA (KPEL News) - Members of the Louisiana Senate’s Health & Welfare Committee and Insurance Committee issued report detailing their findings today after an 8-hour joint meeting earlier this week to discuss the proposed sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana to Elevance Health of Indiana. The sale would allow the state’s largest non-profit health insurer to be sold to a for-profit company.

The report includes 30 findings that the committee describes as “concerning,” including:

  • voting methods used to steer the votes in favor of Blue Cross.
  • the integrity of Elevance Health due to a history of fines, penalties, lawsuits, premium increases, and rate reductions.
  • potential workforce reductions that are part of the company's track record.
  • and the creation of a new foundation with sale proceeds redirected from policyholders to a new foundation, the Accelerate Louisiana Initiative.

Senator Patrick McMath, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare Committee, noted in the report:

I am more convinced than ever that this deal is bad for the 95,000 policyholders who do get to vote, the 1.8 million who do not get to vote, the 34,000 healthcare providers in the Blue Cross network, the 2,500 Blue Cross employees, and honestly the 4.6 million people who live in Louisiana.

Senator McMath called the creation of the foundation, which is necessary for the sale, " a $3.1 billion vacuum of vague intentions.”

There are some fundamental problems with how this is being put forth to the public, especially the very one-sided voting process that includes blatant vote steering and monetary enticement. This proposal is not good and it needs to be stopped now.

State Treasure Dr. John Fleming issued a statement opposing the sale. Dr. Fleming practiced medicine as a family doctor and says the physicians of Louisiana are concerned that the Blue Cross sale will be bad for patients. According to him, the plan to sell Blue Cross is opposed by the Louisiana State Medical Society and the professional organizations for family physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists, pediatricians, eye doctors and surgeons, orthopedic doctors, psychiatrists, pain physicians, and plastic surgeons, as well as local doctor groups such as the Capital Area Medical Society, the Jefferson Parish Medical Society, the Calcasieu Parish Medical Society, the Lafayette Medical Society, the Northwest Louisiana Medical Society, and others.

The sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana can only be approved with a 2/3 vote of the 95,000 policyholders across the state and a nod from Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance is hosting public meetings about the proposed reorganization of Blue Cross and its sale to Elevance on Wednesday, February 14, and Thursday, February 15, in Baton Rouge.

Senator Jeremy Stine has expressed concern and disapproval of the proposal on social media:

The Foods You Could Eat Every Day and Never Get Sick Of

A new PST Poll asked the question: What are the foods that are so good that you could eat them every single day without ever getting sick of them? A bunch of people answered, c'mon, that's not a food. Here are the most popular answers, in no particular order. Do you agree?

Gallery Credit: Chris Rollins