PHUCK YOU

and, fromDailyKos:

Baucus Plan Would Gut State-Level Insurance Industry Regulation


Consumer Watchdog jumped on this today, claiming that this race to the bottom could be expanded.

Washington, D.C. — The consumer group that pioneered the most successful insurance premium regulation law in the nation, which has saved California drivers $62 billion on auto insurance rates since 1988, released a report today outlining the deep flaws in the proposed Senate Finance Committee health reforms. The report calls on Congress to adopt “prior approval” health insurance rate regulation and block insurance industry efforts to gut state consumer protection laws.

A “framework plan” released today by the so-called “Group of Six” Senators negotiating a health reform bill headed by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) would open the door to gutting state laws. The plan would result in a “race to the bottom” in health care regulation by allowing insurance companies that participate in “health care compacts” to choose the weakest state law to govern all their policies, regardless of which state the policies are sold in. Currently, insurance companies must abide by the state laws of any state where they sell insurance. The Baucus plan resembles an industry proposal carried by Mike Enzi (R-WY) in 2006 discussed below [...]

** Loss of state benefit mandates would allow exclusion of preventive treatments and exams, prevent early diagnosis of disease and evade Patient Bill of Rights laws passed in nearly every state. Denying access to such basic preventive care makes treatment more costly to the policyholder and ultimately to taxpayers, who pick up the bill when individuals cannot pay outrageous out-of-pocket costs.

** State laws providing consumers the right to appeal a coverage denial to an independent panel of physicians, a right to a second opinion, and assistance from state regulators when coverage is denied would all be lost under the Enzi approach.

** Individual patients who currently have the ability to hold insurers financially accountable for injuries caused by the denial or delay of necessary care would lose those rights if they joined the Enzi co-op.

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