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The Blue Cross Blue Shield system of health insurance companies boasts on its website, “We take corporate responsibility seriously.” The insurers have offered “a neighborly helping hand as Americans weathered the crisis” of the coronavirus pandemic.

But that helping hand has also received billions of dollars from the federal government over the past four years as part of a tax system that has favored, and has been partly molded by, Blue Cross Blue Shield.


No BCBS company has benefited more than Health Care Service Corp. The parent company of the Blues plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas hasn’t paid a dime of federal income taxes since 2017. In fact, since 2018, HCSC has received almost $3.6 billion in refunds — while also recording hefty profits from its insurance business, as the coronavirus forced people to put off medical care.

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