A Blue Cross executive wrote a set of talking points for his company to use after he saw Michael Moore's "Sicko". An employeee of the company leaked the entire memo which included the spin copied below.
There are 4 key areas of misperception cultivated by the movie that we should consider in any messaging strategy:
1. That the industry is all about HMO's. Moore cultivates this further in his interviews. The reality is that HMO's are a minority product and have been for some time.
2. The movie attacks insurers for a profit motive, but makes no distinction among for-profit and non-profit insurers, and in its execution places the Blue Plans together with the for-profit insurers.
3. All plans and employees - from leaders to service representatives - are painted as motivated by profit to deny claims, and only those with crisis of conscience have come forward to confess their sins.
4. Perhaps most damaging of all, Moore completely fails to address the most significant driver of health care costs - our own lifestyle choices - and seeks to focus attention and efforts on the alluring 'quick-fix' of universal health care. It has taken a generation of poor nutrition and exercise to get obesity and related health issues - and subsequent costs - to their current levels, and Moore's movie fails to acknowledge the causal relationship or need to change (he briefly touches the subject in a non-memorable way). Contrast this to the recent Health Care Symposium held in Harrisburg - where a panel of representatives from Government, Insurance, Hospitals, Business, Physicians, and even Lawyers agreed on one thing - that there was no quick fix and that Health and Wellness was the critical area of focus.
Talking point number 4 seems to coincide with Moore's charge that Blue Cross denied a claim from someone for being fat.
You can read the entire memo here
P.S. For some strange reason, I can't enter titles for my posts tonight. Blogger seems squirrelly.