Bunnie Gronborg, an activist acquaintance, got a letter printed in the Jefferson County Leader that exposes the way Jane ScrewChildLaborLaws Cunningham and two cohorts are also screwing with our chances to have a competitive health insurance exchange in Missouri:
Missouri lawmakers have an opportunity to create a strong, competitive market so that individuals and small businesses can be guaranteed health coverage with good benefits and affordable premiums. Members of the Missouri House have seen the benefits of the exchange and it passed the House in the last session with a bi-partisan vote. The vote in the Senate however was stalled by certain TeaParty Republican state senators.
Now it seems TeaParty state senators are attempting to hijack public senate hearings on the proposed state insurance exchange. These senators are standing in the way of building a strong market-based solution to our health care problems. A hearing was held in August in Kansas City, and even though over seventy citizens turned out to present testimony, only one was allowed to testify, making the hearing a bonafide dog and pony show of health insurance executives, brokers, doctors, and others who wanted to rail against the ACA.
TeaParty leaders in the Missouri Senate are waging a partisan and politically-motivated campaign against the ACA instead of giving Missourians access to a competitive marketplace where we can buy quality health coverage. Would they be carrying the water for the handful of health insurance giants in this state who would like to keep rates high and profits higher? Shame on state senators Jane Cunningham, Luanne Ridgeway and Rob Schaaf. They have a lot of explaining to do. Hearings will be held in Jefferson City and St. Louis, and the citizens of Missouri who care about quality, affordable insurance will not be silenced by a few partisan political hacks.
So there’s that hurdle. But there is also the hurdle of getting our state to crack down on health insurance companies that hike their rates up unreasonably. ObamaCareS forces insurance companies to explain their reasons for any rate hike of more than 10 percent. Thing is, though, that some states do a piss poor job of asking insurers to explain themselves.
President Barack Obama’s administration plans to rely on state insurance regulators to scrutinize insurance rates, but federal regulators will conduct insurance oversight in states where the administration has determined that state oversight is inadequate, such as Missouri, as well as Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Montana, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wyoming.
States can even have laws that allow them to regulate the insurers, but only a few do so. Thirty states have no authority to block rate hikes. You don’t have to guess which category Missouri falls into, do you? Nor do we need to guess how Jane Cunningham, Luanne Ridgeway, and Rob Schaaf would feel about blocking rate hikes. They’d say: Let the market determine it. Let the market determine how many Americans remain in the middle class. Let the market determine how many consumers a year corporations may kill. Let the market determine everything!