State Officials Question Plan To Boost Federal Oversight of Premiums
State insurance experts are expressing concern about President Obama's proposal to establish a federal Health Insurance Rate Authority with the power to curb excessive premium increases, the New York Times reports.
Obama modeled his proposal after legislation introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Feinstein's proposal would authorize the HHS secretary to review, modify or block certain health insurance rate increases.
State insurance experts say the plan could create problems because the new federal agency would focus primarily on preventing rate increases, which would leave state officials with the task of ensuring the solvency of insurers.
According to state insurance commissioners, it would be too dangerous to hold down premiums until health care costs begin to stabilize.State officials argue that keeping health insurers in business often is the most important strategy to ensure access to affordable health coverage (Pear, New York Times, 3/8). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.