Virginia Organizing on health insurance merger: Listen to the people

virginia organizingVirginia Organizing leaders were present at the Insurance Commission meeting on Wednesday to stress the importance of listening to and addressing directly affected people’s concerns about the Anthem-Cigna mega-merger.

“From Southwest Virginia to the Eastern Shore, all Virginians are affected by this merger,” said Karen Kallay of Virginia Organizing. “It is one thing to look at reports and summaries about how readily resources are available to individuals, but it’s another thing to hear first-hand stories about how limited resources have negatively affected their health.”

Winston Whitehurst, a Virginia Organizing Chapter leader who attended the Insurance Commission meeting, believes that Virginians need to be informed about the merger process.

“This merger is about our health insurance — our access to doctors and quality and affordable care,” said Whitehurst. “Virginia Organizing wants to make sure that Virginians have options. My concern is that if you reduce the competition, you restrict the options people have to negotiate coverage and prices. The more companies that offer plans, the more consumers will be able to choose from — this keeps the prices down in our market economy.”

“Virginia Organizing appreciates the Insurance Commission holding this public meeting,” said Virginia Organizing State Governing Board member Ray Scher. “We want to make sure that this is not it. The people of Virginia deserve to have input.”

Virginia Organizing will continue to encourage those who are directly affected by this merger to share their experience of the realities of health care in Virginia and raise their concerns and questions.

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