Thursday, April 12, 2007


By error, the Legislature does what the people want

I was dismayed when the Legislature decided, somewhere along the way, that health insurance premium regulation should apply only to HMSA. Kaiser and AlohaCare were suddenly exempted. This is not right.

Regulation will not hurt either Kaiser or AlohaCare.

Kaiser has a very skilled and respected lobbyist, Chris Pablo. I think he was especially effective this session. I wish he weren't working for the dark side.

Possibly this was done as a compromise since House leadership demonstrated last session that they are against regulating health insurance premiums. This year, public pressure is on them to protect small businesses and individuals against excessive rates and to protect potential competitors against predatory low-balling of rates.

So I was thrilled to read in this morning's Advertiser, Error keeps Kaiser in insurance regulation bill. It seems there was a mistake. Indeed, the universe works in strange ways!

This morning's Star-Bulletin editorial, Restore oversight of health insurers calls for including Kaiser and AlohaCare. It seems that their wish, and the preference of many advocacy organizations, has been temporarily fulfilled.

The conference committee should leave it that way and regulate the premiums of all insurers, inclusively.


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