Feb. 19, 2014 –
The health-care nightmare of 290,000 uninsured residents might soon be over now that two bills have been introduced in the Washington State Legislature.
After problems emerged from ObamaCare, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you might recall last November the president decreed that folks in individual and small group markets could keep their coverage for another year.
Mr. Obama also suspended the requirement for individuals and proclaimed they could buy economical catastrophic coverage.
However, President Obama was immediately over-ruled by Washington State insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who said no.
If that’s not enough, there are other unnecessary dilemmas:
– Washingtonians aren’t allowed to cross the state line to buy insurance. This means they’re limited to three insurance carriers, which discourages competition and limits consumer options.
– Washington state disallows low-cost catastrophic insurance plans.
Two proposed bills
SB 6464 and HB 2221 offer viable options in the wake of the insurance commissioner’s rulings, maintains Roger Stark, MD.
As a medical expert, Dr. Stark is an analyst at the Washington Policy Center (WPC), www.washingtonpolicy.org.
“First, people enrolled in individual and small group plans as of October 1, 2013, could continue those plans outside of the state health insurance exchange,” he explains.
“Second, out-of-state insurance companies could offer individual and small group plans, including catastrophic plans, to residents of Washington state, as long as those plans meet the insurance laws and regulations of their home state,” he adds.
He cites the benefits of SB 6464 and HB 2221:
- Apply only to the individual and small group market.
- Reduce costs by providing more health insurance options, including catastrophic plans, for consumers in Washington state.
- Reduce the number of uninsured by increasing the number of insurance carriers and the number of policies available in Washington state.
- Allow people to keep their existing insurance plans if they like them.
- Be in compliance with the president’s unilateral changes to the Affordable Care Act.
“Ideally, to reduce costs and increase choice and the quality of health services, patients, as consumers of health care, should have as many insurance options as possible available to them,” says the physician.
“Federal regulators, through the ACA, and state regulators, through the insurance commissioner’s office, have severely restricted the choices Washington state patients have in the health insurance market,” he asserts. “SB 6464 and HB 2221 would expand the choices for Washington state health care consumers.”
From the Coach’s Corner, related content:
Health Expert Refutes ObamaCare Claims by Washington Insurance Commissioner — ObamaCare continues to fail in Washington state despite claims by the state’s insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler. That’s the conclusion from an expert analyst – a doctor – at the authoritative think tank, the Washington Policy Center (WPC), www.washingtonpolicy.org.
Why Health-Insurance Rates Increasing and Policyholders Losing Coverage in WA — Hundreds of thousands of Washington state residents – individual policyholders and small group insurance members – are learning two promises of ObamaCare are false.
Taxes – What Should Washington State Do about Medicaid? — With 18 percent of residents on Medicaid and Washington’s $2-billion budget shortfall, the state should follow Oregon’s example. ObamaCare seeks to enlarge Medicaid programs across the country.
“What people are seeing is that the cost of their care and their insurance is going up faster since ObamaCare has been passed than if the healthcare law had not been passed at all.”
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