Friday, July 14, 2017

Kreidler: Time for Senate to reject its health care bill, craft real reform

The following is Commissioner Kreidler's take on the latest version of the Republican Senate’s health care bill:

The "new" version of the Senate's health care bill released yesterday is just as bad – if not worse -- as the previous version.

Touted as the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” the bill does nothing to live up to its title. If enacted as is, the legislation would drive up costs for lower-income and older individuals, severely weaken consumer protections and leave more people uninsured.

It would also create separate risk pools that could lead to collapse of individual health markets throughout the land.

Cancer patients would be among those most negatively affected by weakened protections.

All of this despite numerous recommendations from insurance commissioners across the country on how to reform health care. Key among the suggestions: shore up the health care markets immediately.

There’s no doubt that the Affordable Care Act needs fixes. But Congress for years has refused to make them. Instead, the focus now is on legislation that would be devastating for all states, including Washington, as Gov. Inslee and I noted recently.

As I’ve said repeatedly, the best thing that could happen is for the Senate to reject the current bill and start over. Some are proposing a bipartisan approach. Let’s hope this can happen.

The protections gained through the Affordable Care Act are too important to be tossed aside.