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Insurance commissioner’s Obamacare announcement “disappointing,” says Baumgartner

Published on August 5, 2013

Senator Michael BaumgartnerIn response to recent findings by the state Office of the Insurance Commissioner that claim implementation of the mandatory Obamacare health-insurance exchange would provide more coverage for Washington residents, Spokane Sen. Michael Baumgartner issued this statement:

“In The Seattle Times last week, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is quoted as claiming health-care plans offered in Washington’s new online-exchange marketplace may cost more than those available now, but they will cover much more. I’m extremely disappointed that he failed to mention the significant reduction in free-market competition that Obamacare will also usher in.

“Kreidler lauds the fact that his office approved 31 new health-care plans, yet rejected more than half of the insurance companies that applied to operate in the new exchange. Nine private companies wanted to participate and offer their health-care packages to Washington residents, yet five were rejected for vague and questionable reasons.

“This decision will significantly affect residents in rural areas of Washington, some of whom will be forced into doing business with a single company offering a handful of packages at non-competitive prices. In the very near future, Obamacare will force thousands of residents into the system while simultaneously reducing consumer choice and imposing mandates and price controls.

“Inevitably that will lead to a reduction in actual care for some – or worse, the eventual onset of a two-tiered public/private system such as that used in Great Britain. And all of this comes from a proposal that was sold to America on the promise of a reduction in health-care spending that will never materialize.”