BCBS of Alabama withdrawing from Business Council of Alabama

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama is the latest major business to withdraw from the Business Council of Alabama.

Alabama Power and Regions Bank withdrew earlier this week.

Until this week, BCA was known as the one unified voice for Alabama’s business community, pushing business issues at the Alabama State House and in Washington, DC.

Now, as major members of that team pull out, insiders expect more businesses to do the same.

In a statement from Blue Cross Blue Shield, a spokesman said, "Blue Cross has consistently participated at a high level of support of the BCA and its activities. At this time, the correct path for our company and our customers is to withdraw from the BCA while the organization considers its future path."

Alabama Power has said, “The company's primary core concerns were around the leadership and effectiveness of the organization."

So what does all this mean and why is it significant?

One source told ABC 33/40, the business community's voice is now so diluted, there's no pro-business organization to advocate for key issues.

Another source put it this way: “The leading job development and retention organization is losing its most significant employers. You can’t continue to be that organization when the state’s largest businesses stop being members.”

One economic developer said it to ABC 33/40 this way, “It's never good from a national perspective to have a divided business community… The fact major players are pulling out of BCA shows a divide.”

That economic developer said he wants the forces to get together and get back on the same page.

ABC 33/40 sources do expect more major corporations in this state to also withdraw from BCA.

Key questions right now include: Will those major businesses who pulled out of BCA form their own group? Who else may join? Who will be the next leader of this group and who will choose that leader.

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