The Curious Conversion of Empire Blue Cross

July/August 2003
Robinson JC

Health Affairs--July/August 2003

The for-profit conversion of Empire Blue Cross in New York challenges the case law and conventional policy wisdom that financial assets from formerly nonprofit organizations should be used to endow independent charitable foundations. The appropriation of Empire's assets by state government itself, and their subsequent deployment to subsidize health care institutions and repay political obligations, changes the conversion process from one that pits nonprofits against for-profits to one that pits private, nonprofit organizations against public-sector programs in the competition for new financial resources.