The California Assembly has approved a measure that would give the state insurance commissioner veto power over what he — or she – might consider “excessive” health insurance rate increases.
The bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Mike Feuer, said, “to those who’ve said ‘gee it doesn’t address the cost of health care’, let me remind you of the statistic. Nationally 3.4 percent increase in health care costs…Anthem California… 39 per cent increase.”
Republicans didn’t take part in the debate or the vote. They walked out of the chamber after Democrats refused to grant them time for a caucus meeting.
But there was some opposition during the debate. Democrat Charles Calderon worried the new Health Insurance Exchange and the Insurance Commissioner might have different opinions of “excessive” insurance premiums, saying, “so then you’re going to have disagreement. You’re going to Exchange agreeing that this is a fair price. The insurance commissioner then saying ‘oh no that’s not a fair price, that’s excessive. I want you to have this price.’”
In the end, the measure passed 42-1. It moves next to the Senate.