|Sanderson offers to help in settling stalemate between BC/BS, Baptist |
|Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 9:05 pm |
The Messenger 11.23.12
State Rep. Bill Sanderson, R-Kenton, has offered his help to resolve the stalemate in negotiations between Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee and the Baptist Health Care System.
He said the dispute “has created considerable anxiety throughout the 77th District and surrounding communities.”
Sanderson has issued a letter to both sides in the negotiations, urging them to reach a settlement in the contract negotiations.
“Recently I was informed that neither party is confident that the contract will be renewed,” Sanderson’s letter states in part. “The state employees and small business owners who will be covered and serviced by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee and Baptist Memorial Hospital-Union City, respectively, deserve better than to have their health services interrupted because of issues that they do not have control over.”
Sanderson goes on to state the effects of the dispute “transcend the scope of either entity’s sphere of influence and the negative ramifications will undoubtedly be forced upon the families of Dyer, Obion and Lake counties. In my opinion the citizens of these communities deserve better than to have a dispute of this nature be forced upon them.”
The outcome of the negotiations will have a broad impact on the entire northwest Tennessee region, and specifically Union City.
The impact extends far beyond the thousands of families in the area who are covered under Blue Cross/Blue Shield, according to Sanderson.
“Tennessee, especially West Tennessee, needs growth through industry and commerce. Because West Tennessee borders several states, it has a unique geographical position in the region,” his letter states. “I feel that a dispute of this kind will reflect poorly on the community to all those who view it from the outside. This could negatively affect the surrounding community’s economic transition into an attractive place for new business to migrate to. In fact, a hidden cost of this stalemate might actually be a loss of jobs.”
Sanderson encouraged both sides in the issue to come up with an agreement “in order to ensure that our state employees, small business owners and their families will have continuous health coverage and neither entity will receive any negative publicity over this matter.”
He closed his letter with an offer to sit down with both sides and help work out “a fair agreement for all parties while maintaining continuous coverage.”