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October 7, 1998

The Future of Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;280(13):1138. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-280-13-jbk1007

To the Editor:The article by Ms Friedman1 on the future of Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) significantly misses the mark. It fails to make clear that the conversion controversy is more about regulators and consumers preventing nonprofit BCBS plans from taking public assets for use in the for-profit sector than it is about the survival of individual insurance companies. Conversion is not simply a technical corporate change, it is about the preservation of billions of nonprofit charitable dollars and how these dollars should be used to protect and improve communities' health.