While working for Blue Shield, I saw Senator Ed Hernandez do favors for the company, his biggest corporate contributor. He should reveal his dealings with Blue Shield, and legislators’ communications with big donors should be made subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act.
Blue Shield of California claims to strongly support the Affordable Care Act, declaring on its website: “We pledge to do all that we can to make reform work.” When I worked there, it made a big effort to brand itself as an Obamacare champion to Democrats on Capitol Hill and in Sacramento. Yet Blue Shield’s political action committee showers campaign contributions onto the leader of the Republican crusade to repeal Obamacare—House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Blue Shield’s PAC has given more to him than to any other politician, including even Nancy Pelosi, who besides being the ACA’s most vital advocate in Congress, represents the very district in which Blue Shield is headquartered. Since 2013, Blue Shield has contributed more than twice as much to McCarthy as to Pelosi.
The company’s PAC has also favored other rabid opponents of Obamacare, such as Devin Nunes. Among the top eight recipients of Blue Shield PAC money, five have supported repeal of the law. Blue Shield has given them $143,000 compared to the $54,400 it has given the three supporters of the ACA.
So why is Blue Shield supporting those working to kill the law it claims to back? Based on personal knowledge, I think I can safely say that it’s not because Blue Shield is excited about their attacks on Planned Parenthood, immigrants, or the rule of law.
But what Blue Shield does like about their policy agenda is that it includes lifting the ACA premium tax, which is a critical piece of the funding for the subsidized coverage provided by the law. The company hates the tax. Based on information I provided earlier this year to the IRS in a whistleblower filing, Blue Shield appears to have cheated on it, to the tune of $89 million. But a better long-term strategy to avoid the tax is to have it extinguished.
Blue Shield PAC favorites Devin Nunes, Mimi Walters, Jeff Denham, and David Valadao have all co-sponsored legislation to repeal the levy. And McCarthy played instrumental roles in getting the tax suspended in 2016 and 2019. One month before McCarthy engineered the continuing resolution this year that included the 2019 suspension, Blue Shield’s PAC gave his leadership campaign committee the maximum legal contribution.
So while Blue Shield isn’t eager to see Planned Parenthood defunded, immigrants deported, or Trump put above the law, it is apparently willing to give its backing to those causes in order to cut its taxes.
Obamacare’s premium rebate formula has a glitch that rewards insurers who overcharge. The industry, which has reaped over $700 million from the flaw, has kept it secret until now. Read my article on this at healthinsurance.org.
Blue Shield tax filings and other records that I cited in a whistleblower claim made to the IRS reveal possible tax evasion.
Blue Shield’s legal assault continues, but my whistleblowing is back on.
After agreeing not to look at portions of my defense that Blue Shield didn't want her to see, the judge ruled against my motion to dismiss the case.
Blue Shield is the only major California insurer whose profits and administrative expenses in 2015 exceeded Obamacare maximums, requiring it to pay rebates this fall.
The corporate chieftains at Blue Shield of California have a special surprise for workers this Labor Day—a furlough.
The information I dug up about Blue Shield and gave to regulators last month is now the basis of a class action lawsuit.
By reporting costs resulting from administrative errors as medical expenses, Blue Shield appears to have shortchanged customers on rebates required by the Obamacare medical loss ratio rule.
In response to criticism over its conduct as a nonprofit, Blue Shield is holding its first “annual stakeholder meeting." But the meeting is open only to a handful of handpicked guests.
A California regulator determined that nonprofit Blue Shield has no public benefit duty, potentially costing Californians billions of dollars. She refuses to explain her decision.
My lawyer filed a motion yesterday for dismissal of Blue Shield’s lawsuit, arguing that it chills my 1st Amendment right to participate in public discussion about Blue Shield.
Blue Shield made a huge Obamacare profit in 2014 hindering access to care. That triggered a $107-million-excess-profit tax that it then forced enrollees to pay, at a cost of $223 each.
The most profitable Obamacare insurer in 2014 was a nonprofit health plan--Blue Shield of California.
The ruling by California’s health plan regulator that Blue Shield has no charitable trust obligation frees the nonprofit insurer to disregard the public good and privatizes its billions in assets.
As the LA Times reported today, Blue Shield is suing me. It's not going to work; I'm not going to shut up.
In this LA Times interview, Blue Shield CEO Paul Markovich couldn't contain his disdain for anyone who thinks the nonprofit has a duty to fully disclose how much its top executives are paid.
In a stunning decision delivered last week with no explanation, California’s Department of Managed Health Care agreed with Blue Shield of California that the nonprofit has no duty to operate for the benefit of the community.
Blue Shield’s plan for the Care 1st acquisition would subordinate the interests of Medi-Cal enrollees to privately-insured enrollees, according to legal documents filed with regulators.