This is a bit old, but somehow, I’d missed it.
State Senate Democrats sent out a news release today about a bill introduced by their Republican counterparts that would eliminate the elected office of insurance commissioner, which has been filled by Mike Kreidler since 2001. He began his fourth term in office in 2012.
Since federal health care reform passed, Kreidler has been all about health insurance, all the time. He’s the one who determines which insurance plans get included in the state exchange, and last year rankled some critics when he decided that some plans initially did not have robust enough offerings to be included — effectively limiting the options that were available in the exchange. The four plans that were denied entry appealed his decision, and he later settled with them so they all got included after all.
The Senate Republicans’ Bill 6458, which hasn’t even been heard in committee yet, “creates the state insurance board which will be responsible for the oversight of the insurance code.” It “transfers the powers, duties, and functions of the office of the insurance commissioner pertaining to regulation of insurance to the state insurance board.”
I’m not generally a fan of the way we elect so many executive positions. So I could probably hear arguments that putting that power in the Governor’s office is more logical.
Still, it seems to me that at least part of the reason that this could get 13 GOP co-sponsors is because of the way that the office has kicked ass for consumers. Both on the ACA and long before it (Seattle Times link). But if they oppose him making policy they’ve had 4 chances to take that case to the people. This seems like a pretty silly runaround.