FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, 18 March 2015

CONTACT:
Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com

Courage Campaign Applauds CA for Revoking Blue Shield’s Non-Profit Tax Status

Statement by Dr. Paul Song, executive chairman of the California-based Courage Campaign, and practicing oncologist on news that the California Franchise Tax Board has revoked Blue Shield’s non-profit tax status due to problems over rate hikes, executive pay, and overwhelming financial reserves:

“Plain and simple - the California Franchise Tax Board did the right thing by revoking Blue Shield’s non-profit tax status, and Californians across the state will be better off for it.

But Blue Shield is not the only insurer that fails to justify its non-profit status status.  For years, health care insurers like Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente have abused their non-profit tax status by spending billions of taxpayer dollars - in corporate tax breaks and rising premiums - on lavish entertainment for corporate VIPs, and hefty bonuses for company executives, instead of patient care. Just last year, Blue Shield spent more than 2.5 million dollars on a luxury skybox for corporate VIPs - all while jacking up rates on hard working Californians who desperately needed access to basic health services. 

We urge lawmakers in Sacramento to put the increased tax revenue generated from this decision to good use by restoring the Department of Health and Human Services budget that has been decimated over the last few years.  Courage Campaign’s 900,000 members and ethical doctors everywhere stand with the California Franchise Tax Board in exposing California’s so called ‘non-profit’ health insurers and hospitals for what they really are -  corporations that put profits over people.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-shield-california-20150318-story.html#page=1

For interviews with Courage Campaign, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at  brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

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