August 21, 2013
Exchange board wants more options; Kreidler says "it ain't going to happen"
At the start of August, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler appoved 31 health plans plans from four different companies to be sold in the state's health insurance exchange. He rejected plans from five companies for various reasons.
Not everybody was happy about Kreidler's decisions, saying that the low number of approved companies would stifle competition and choice. State Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, for instance, made an articulate objection to Kreidler's choices, but as a Republican complaining about a Democrat's decision, it was easy for people to dismiss it as simply partisan.
Earlier today, the state Health Benefits Exchange board had its first meeting since Kreidler's August 1 announcement, providing the first chance to gauge the board's reaction. Apparently they're not too thrilled with the small number of providers, either; they opted not to approve the last "check" in certifying the qualifying health plans. The board voted to delay approving the four companies in hopes that there is some way to boost that total before the exchange goes live on October 1. Valerie Bauman at the Puget Sound Business Journal has the story :
The vote was delayed until sometime next week because several board members expressed concern that too few options were available in the plans that state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler approved for the exchange.
After the vote by the board, exchange officials said they plan to ask the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for an extension so more insurance companies can attempt to have their plans included.
Kreidler didn't care for the delay and sought to quash the board's hopes that more plans will be included this year, telling the board "I can tell you right now, it ain't going to happen." Washington was one of the first states to embrace its role in setting up an exchange, getting to work earlier than most to set its rules for the consumer insurance exchange. Kreidler's approval of just four companies for the individual exchange follows the disappointing lack of interest in the small business exchange, which attracted just one regional provider in southwest Washington.
The AP is also out with an extensive article on the topic.
Bauman's article includes Kreidler's rationale for denying each of the other five providers.
Dr. Ricardo Jimenez of Sea Mar Community Health Centers penned an op-ed last week questioning the insurance commissioner's decision to exclude Medicaid managed care plans from the exchange.
Posted by Adam Faber at August 21, 2013
05:08 PM | Email This
One of the more egregious pieces of hackery I've seen recently, which, considering I'm a regular reader here, really says something:
Kreidler didn't care for the delay and sought to quash the board's hopes that more plans will be included this year, telling the board "I can tell you right now, it ain't going to happen.
Before the vote, Kreidler said he didn't like the board members' idea that dropped insurance companies could be added into the exchange if they had a little bit more time to meet the requirements. Kreidler said it would take a bureaucratic leap at the federal and probably the state level to get the other plans ready for the Oct. 1 launch of the exchange.
"I can tell you right now," Kreidler said, "it ain't going to happen." He noted the state has very little time to go through the bureaucratic steps necessary to get the exchange operational by Oct. 1.
Really, making it this obvious shows a real disrespect for one's audience. Let's see how many of the regular peanut gallery here fall for it anyway...
Obamacare stinks. It's so bad even congress didn't want to be part of it. So they exempted themselves. Tells you all you need to know.
Btw, tensor, how much do you get paid bto post here all day long?
Duke@2, your one "fact" is completely wrong. Are you deliberately lying or just seriously misinformed?
"Btw, tensor, how much do you get paid bto post here all day long?"
Those checks from George Soros are not as large as you might think. :-)
But seriously -- what do you think, about the difference between the source material, and the quote Adam hacked from it? What does that tell you, about his estimate of his readers? Do you like what that says?
Duke spews, "Obamacare stinks. It's so bad even congress didn't want to be part of it. So they exempted themselves."
You keep getting tripped up on your own lies. Try telling the truth for a change. It'd be much easier for you to keep your story straight. Oh, and ease up on the hate as I suspect it's messing with your head.
Gawd, even Freedomworks puts you down,
"Congress is not only covered by Obamacare, but members and staff can be offered only plans that are either created by Obamacare or are offered through an exchange. That isn't how the law works for most people, but it's not exempting anyone -- it's more restrictive."
So why are you lying? What's the reason for it? Is it just that you lack a moral compass?
"Grassley offered an amendment that would kick members of Congress and their staffers off the federal employee health plan and make them enroll in the new health insurance exchanges, which are mostly for individuals who don't get employer coverage. If not for his amendment, their insurance scheme wouldn't have changed at all. Republicans expected Democrats would vote it down, thus giving them an opening to attack the law, but Democrats called the bluff and passed the amendment.
But what wasn't resolved, until last week, was whether members of Congress and their employees would still get the money the government had been contributing to their health insurance premiums as their employer. Last week, the administration ruled: They would get to keep the employer contribution. That's it.
So, in fact, members of Congress are still going to be required to use the Obamacare-created health insurance exchanges."
6. Shorter Jim Miller: "Local journalists give too much attention to Seattle, and not enough to me. Waah!"
"A reluctance to talk to people with different values is, I think, a serious defect"
Apparently Jim Miller closing his comment threads and refusing to talk to people with different values is being done because he's afficted with a serious defect.
"Kreidler's approval of just four companies for the individual exchange..." in no may suggests that Washingtonians lack good health care options, right? How come the mighty free market didn't do any better, given the amount of time it had?
"Washington was one of the first states to embrace its role in setting up an exchange, getting to work earlier than most to set its rules for the consumer insurance exchange."
Private health insurance in our country is a broken system. As most other industrialized democracies have found, government can solve this problem. You can lead, follow, or get out of the way, because the days of healthcare CEOs buying yachts with the money denied to Granny's medical care will come to an end. It's just a matter of time.
9. At least those with the means will still be able to get quality care by stepping around the system, at least until Herr Sebelius outlaws it. Where will Canadians go then?
@6/7: While Jim Miller claims to like serious journalism, he offers no data to support his claim about what newspapers cover, let alone his certainty about why they do this. (Habit! Where they live! Discomfort!)
Ironically the publisher of the Seattle Times doesn't even live in unwarranted-over-covered Seattle. So now this comment contains more relevant facts than Jim's entire rant.
11. People are dying now for lack of care, care for which they'd paid premiums for years to receive. Families suffer medical bankruptcies. But your tender concern for the potential suffering of the rich is well noted.
12. At least the Times allows comments. Jim Miller? Eh, not so much.
13. The Democrat party or some surrogate-type group is likely paying these lefties to do nothing but post all day. Otherwise, they'd have to have lives.
14. Duke@13- Darn! You've uncovered the heretofore secret strategy the "Democrat party" has devised to keep in control: spend whatever it takes to win over the vast, influential SoundPolitics readership!
"Otherwise, they'd have to have lives."
Hey, show some respect! Living aint easy postin' on SP and talkin' all day on my Maobamaphone, munching on King crab legs paid for with food stamps. It's not an easy life at all. By the way, thanks for paying for it all with your hard-earned tax dollars.
May Allah bless me with many commie-eco-Nazi-jihadist sons. Oh, and an EBT cash card.
16. Hmmmm, no real denials of the "liberals-getting-paid-to-live-on-blog-comment boards-all-day" theory. Not surprising.
"Hmmmm, no real denials of the "liberals-getting-paid-to-live-on-blog-comment boards-all-day" theory."
Yeah, right, we all make the Big Bucks posting here.
Hmm, no acknowledgement that you were completely owned on your "It's so bad even congress didn't want to be part of it. So they exempted themselves" comment. In denial much? Or is it, make shit up much? Putz.
"The Democrat party or some surrogate-type group is likely paying these lefties to do nothing but post all day. Otherwise, they'd have to have lives."
Dear Great Leader Soros will not be happy we've been found out, comrades!
Yes, it does take a bit longer to write a comment which is both factually-correct and on-topic, but not that much longer. Try it sometime.
19. This comment thread is so depressingly one-sided, it makes me want to start taking the conservative position just so we can have some slightly intelligent, fact-based debate around here. The coherent conservative commenters seem to have left us, and the coherent bloggers either ignore, ban, or bully anyone who disagrees with them.
20. Bruce, I think the recent elections took the stuffing out of many of our right-wing friends. It was especially bad for our locals, with both gay marriage and President Obama winning. A few, like Jim Miller, tried to put on brave faces, but eventually the reality overwhelmed them. I doubt this place will ever return to the glory days of eight years ago, when they could still entertain the fantasy of winning a state-wide election.
Kriedler is the problem with our health insurance. (btw - dr steve you do know what insurance means...right) if he'd allow WA residents to purchase what they want (choice...you know that right) then costs would be lower for all. Now he wants to limit choice again and keep rates artificially high for us.
Also...you are correct...congress isn't exempt, but POTUS broke the law by creating his own provision. That they can get a subsidy. POTUS is for the middle class...but why screw them for the proletariat? Do you think that is fair? Tensor? Bruce?
Adam...I agree with tensor in that your "editing" of the quote isn't very good. That is MSNBC type bullpucky.
However I do believe that king kriedler does feel pissed that anyone would dare question him. Stupid peasants that we are.
23. Bruce, tensor - not being in your league of intelligence tends to make many of us cower to your enlightened oratory. We're just speechless.
24. Dengle@21, Kriedler was doing precisely what the law requires him to do, which is to regulate insurance companies. Of course "choice" is good but any regulation restricts choice to some extent, so the question is how to balance choice and regulation. Are you saying that "choice" is the only proper goal and there should be no regulation whatsoever? You are welcome to that classic libertarian position, but it hasn't worked well in our healthcare system, it hasn't been chosen by any other developed nation, it's not the law of the land, and Kriedler wouldn't be allowed to pursue it even if he wanted to.
Kriedler is a bonafide statist and a leftist hack, with all due respect. His actions say it loud and clear.
Followers and fellow comrades like Bruce and tensor nod ignorantly in agreement with his actions. The rest is self explanatory.
Jim Miller; stop being like most of the rest of the Republican party; show some guts and open your posts up to comments. You set a piss poor example and should be ashamed of yourself for cowering.
Maybe NOW Congress will see "what's in it".
The people already have, and those other than freeloaders are ticked.
27. What is he regulating? He is telling me I have to buy want he thinks I need. Not what I want or what I believe is best for me. He is regulating my choice, thus I have none. King K should ensure my insurance company doesn't commit fraud and help ensure they are able to provide that which I have contracted for. Not that they must provide a policy that covers what he wants. Remember it is insurance.
Dengle, as you may have heard, the USA recently joined the rest of the developed world in requiring all people to have insurance that covers most medical expenses. Of course most countries do this through taxes, but our country has chosen for political reasons to involve private insurance companies and require people to obtain coverage (directly or through the government or their employer depending on age, income, and employment status).
You may not agree that the USA should provide or require insurance, but surely you are smart enough to realize that if we do require it, that would be meaningless if we did not define -- and subsequently enfore through regulation -- what that basic insurance package must cover.
By objecting to Kriedler's action, you are saying either (a) he should break the law or (b) not all Americans should have health insurance. Which is it?
Why again should we force someone to have insurance? If they decide not to, then they are making a decision to do so and thus live with those consequences.
Most of the developed world doesn't believe in free speech as we do.... should also follow suit?
Again...Kriedler should ensure we are not being lied or having fraud committed. But why should he decide what insurance I buy? I've had insurance my whole adult life and made decisions to buy that over other "necessities" like say cable or lattés or eating out at Daniels. Why don't others? Oh...because they believe like you that health insurance is a right and so is cable, food and any other stuff a person wants.
"Most of the developed world doesn't believe in free speech as we do.... should also follow suit?"
WTF are you babbling about?
"Kriedler should ensure we are not being lied or having fraud committed. But why should he decide what insurance I buy?"
Because, as Bruce keeps patiently explaining to your uncomprehending self, he has to follow the law.
I once worked for a small engineering and manufacturing firm. Almost every year, the health plans we could buy changed. No matter how many "choices" we were offered, they were all nearly identical, and very expensive, and did not always offer us the choices we wanted in doctors and care. (This was a company of mostly younger employees, healthy and active, with not many children between us.) I would far prefer single-payer, especially if it gave me more of the choices I really cared to have.
Dengle@29, you ask "why again should we force someone to have insurance"? Have you paid any attention to the debates over healthcare during the past several decades when this question was answered repeatedly? Essentially, the answer comes down to: it's necessary if we are to cover people with pre-existing conditions without rates spiraling out of control, and the alternative is to let them die in the streets, which developed societies don't generally consider appropriate.
I don't believe that healthcare is a fundamental human right, but I believe that in a society as wealthy as ours, it is good policy to make basic healthcare available to everyone and provided by society as a whole (i.e., through taxes). Obamacare isn't as good but it's a lot better than what we had before. You are welcome to disagree, but be honest about what alternative you really want and its ramifications instead of just spewing simplistic libertarian ideology.
And you are wrong that most of the developed world doesn't believe in free speech as we do. Most of the developed world believes in free speech. The details do vary -- just as healthcare policies vary -- but the general philosophy is far more similar than different.