PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 9 The following is a statement from Mark Ganz, president and chief executive officer of Regence BlueCross BlueShield:
"These are extraordinary times. Our nation is in the midst of a pivotal conversation about health care reform. I applaud our nation's leaders for making this difficult issue a priority.
"This August we saw an unfortunate polarization of our country. Some of the rhetoric turned quite ugly. The end result has led to confusion and misinformation--none of which moves the discussion forward.
"We cannot allow such an atmosphere to cost our nation this chance to make lasting change. There is already broad agreement on key reforms: Everyone must have affordable coverage and access to quality care; insurers must drop pre-existing barriers to coverage; medical care must become more efficient and economical; and the entire system must be simpler and more transparent. Regence has advocated for these changes for years.
"Like many Americans, Regence has questions about specific elements of the reform proposals, including how to pay for them, but our deep commitment to improving the system is unwavering.
"We are devoted to real health care reform that provides meaningful coverage to all Americans, addresses the fundamental cost drivers that make coverage increasingly unaffordable in both the public and private sector, and ensures systemic and broader economic sustainability for our nation."
Regence is a leading health insurer in the Northwest / Mountain State Region, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence serves nearly three million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington), Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each plan is a not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit regence.com.