I’m not sure for whom Snowe, Lincoln and Landrieu are working. They don’t seem to be working for the American people.
These are the last three Reid should be trying to work out a public option compromise with. Via Jon Walker, Politico is reporting on an amendment by Snowe, Lincoln, and Landrieu to basically eliminate state regulations on what insurance companies must cover.
SA 2859 Snowe/Landrieu/Lincoln – nationwide plans: deletes state opt out language, adds rating requirements to plan requirements
If you live in a state with strong minimum benefit insurance regulations (California, Minnesota, New York, and Vermont come to mind), you will lose your current health insurance, and your insurance coverage will get worse.
What are nationwide plans? As I explained in an earlier post, they are an idea strongly championed by the health insurance lobby. The Senate bill would effectively nullify current state regulations on what insurance plans must cover by allowing insurance companies to sell “nationwide plans” in any state. These nationwide plans would only be required to meet the minimum coverage benefits mandated by the federal government and the state in which they are based. (Think of the deregulation of the credit card industry.) These nationwide plans could sell in other states, and would be exempt from those states’ insurance regulations. In effect, this completely guts state insurance regulation of minimum coverage. Utah, for instance, has very lax regulation, so expect all insurance companies to be based there by 2016.
The merged Senate bill allows for states to opt-out, to prevent nationwide plans that would violate and would nullify current state regulations from being sold in their state, lowering the bar dramatically for what what insurance companies could get away with, and taking away the right of states to regulate insurance. But the insurance lobby sure does love it.
More evidence that these three are not operating in good faith on actually reforming the insurance system, and more evidence that any deal reached with them is unlikely to be worth the price they extract.