For 83 years, Blue Cross has served all of Michigan. We provide health insurance to people in every community, county, and zip code. For 83 years – and long before the Affordable Care Act made it mandatory – we accepted everyone with a pre-existing medical condition for coverage. Our employees come to work in diverse Michigan communities like Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Traverse City and Marquette. Our members, customers, employees, and stakeholders reflect the diversity of our state and every political point of view. During our 83 years, we have seen difficult and divisive times. Our role has always been to represent all of Michigan – providing access to quality health care for all and working to improve health care for all. We respect the different perspectives people bring to their views on public policy and politics. As Michigan’s leading health insurer, we are a respected voice for public health policies that protect and promote the health of all Michiganders and all Americans. This responsibility requires us to work with all our state’s elected representatives – in the state legislature, the governor’s office, and Congress. Blue Cross works across the political spectrum and respects diverse viewpoints of elected officials and other stakeholders to advance access to health care for all people. We succeed by listening to diverse views and lending our expertise when called upon, and we encourage respectful and informed dialogue and debate on important policy matters. We are grounded in our communities and listen to our diverse stakeholders through a network of Community Advisory Councils. We understand the challenges we face as a society because we live in it, like you do. Today’s times are divisive on many fronts. Our role is to help bring people together to make a better tomorrow possible. Sometimes bringing people together means making our voice heard on matters outside of health care. For example, voting is a fundamental part of our democratic system and elections have ripple effects into our everyday lives. That’s why equal and fair access to voting for all qualified adults matters so much. We have made our voice heard on the issue of voting access – both in Michigan and nationally – and we continue to work with all policymakers to communicate this principle. We also have enough experience, over 83 years, to know that all Michiganders have not received equal access to health care and that some segments of our population have barriers that stand in the way of their best health. We are acting to change that. Addressing the racial, economic, and geographic causes of health disparities is at the core of achieving greater health equity. The global health crisis of COVID-19 – combined with unrest over economic inequality and racial discrimination – has people talking about health in a new way. Public health institutions are offering guidance and organizations are asking questions. Blue Cross continues funding grassroots efforts and nonprofit organizations across Michigan as they are working to break down barriers for people to access health care resources and promote healthy lifestyles – particularly in communities where large racial and socioeconomic disparities exist in health outcomes. In 2021, we launched an Office of Health and Health Care Disparities, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to address health equity. We know there is much work to be done. We will remain strong advocates for lasting change while leading with our actions. Because, like we have for 83 years, we stand for all.
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