Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Statement: BCBSA Commends Sen. McCain's Focus on Healthcare Affordability and Quality

Statement from Scott P. Serota, President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

WASHINGTON, April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scott P. Serota, president and chief executive officer of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), released the following statement in response to Sen. John McCain's remarks today on healthcare in Florida:

"The nation's 39 Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are encouraged that presidential candidates from both sides of the aisle are engaged in thoughtful discussions about how best to improve healthcare quality, rein in costs and provide health insurance for all Americans. As the largest system of health plans providing coverage to more than 100 million Americans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies believe that every American should have health insurance and that this effort should build on what is working in our system today.

"This week, Sen. John McCain is shining a spotlight on important issues related to improving healthcare quality and expanding coverage. We applaud Sen. McCain's emphasis on addressing the underlying costs of care. Sen. McCain's healthcare plan would also take important steps to help better coordinate the care of the chronically ill by integrating these patients into a 'medical home' and relying on improvements to health-information technology to eliminate inefficiencies in the system. While we have concerns about the proposal's approach to how consumers purchase coverage, we are pleased that it seeks to address the root causes of increased costs.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies share many of the ideas put forth by the presidential candidates to attack rising healthcare costs, while improving quality and access to care. Earlier this year, we unveiled a detailed five-point plan - 'The Pathway to Covering America' - for comprehensive reform. Building upon the employer-based system, this plan would encourage comparative effectiveness research; change incentives to encourage doctors and hospitals to provide better care, including medical homes; make much-needed improvements to our nation's health information technology; promote better health and wellness; and foster public-private coverage solutions.

"We believe that everyone should have health insurance. At a time when small businesses, Fortune 500 employers, and Medicare and Medicaid are grappling with how best to maintain high-quality, affordable coverage, it is important to recognize and build on what is working in the current system. We applaud presidential candidates for seeking to improve quality and expand coverage and we look forward to working with both sides of the aisle to extend health insurance to every American."

More information about BCBSA's "The Pathway to Covering America," can be found online at

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 100 million individuals - one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association