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Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Reform

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

The Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Reform (CRHR) is a front group created in 2007 by Blue Cross of California, the state's largest insurance company. The group's website is registered by the insurance company.[1]

History

In May 2007, the Associated Press and other publications reported that Blue Cross had "set aside $2 million for what is likely to be a deep-pocketed campaign to undermine the health care reforms being pushed by Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger."[2]

CRHR opposes proposals by California elected officials that would require insurers to sell policies to everyone, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.[3] It has run advertisements comparing healthcare reform to the electricity deregulation that created power outages in California and contributed to the Enron financial scandal. "Remember how the rash deregulation of the energy market in California spawned power outages and soaring rates? Let's not go there again," the ads say.

Rebecca Elgie of the Tompkins County Health Care Task Force in Ithaca, New York, an organization that advocates universal healthcare, commented that she was "shocked by the underhanded practice of the for-profit health insurance industry. If you came across an organization called 'Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Reform,' what would you expect? Even after working all these years on reform I would expect a coalition ready to do the right thing and represent reform that would do away with the injustice of the American health care system; something that would stop the tragedy of going bankrupt because of health care bills. But instead the coalition called 'Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Reform' is misleading and will do nothing of the sort."[4]

The public relations firm working for Blue Cross/CRHR is Goddard Claussen.[5]

Contact information

Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Reform
455 Capitol Mall, Suite 801
Sacramento, CA 95814-4433
916-325-0056
Email: info AT responsiblereform.com
Website: http://www.responsiblereform.com

External links

Robert Salladay, "Blue Cross goes there," Los Angeles Times online, May 24, 2007.

References

  1. Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Reform, Joker.com, accessed March 2008.
  2. Laura Kurtzman, "Blue Cross funding campaign against governor's health reform", San Jose Mercury News, May 24, 2007.
  3. "Blue Cross Earmarks $2 Million To Fight Health Reform Plans," California Healthline, May 25, 2007.
  4. Rebecca Elgie, "U.S. health care: unethical and indifferent," Ithaca Journal, June 16, 2007.
  5. Web site of Goddard Claussen Coalition for Responsible Healthcare Reform, accessed August 24, 2009