A "framework plan" released today by the so-called "Group of Six"
Senators negotiating a health reform bill headed by Senator Max Baucus
(D-MT) would open the door to gutting state laws.
The Baucus plan moves to lowest-common-denominator health insurance
regulation: all insurance companies could
evade strong consumer protection laws by simply "issuing" their
policies from a state with anemic consumer protections.
The plan would
result in a race to the bottom in health care regulation by allowing
insurance companies that participate in "health care compacts" to
choose the weakest state law to govern all their policies, regardless
of which state the policies are sold in. Currently, insurance
companies must abide by the state laws of any state where they sell
insurance. The Baucus plan resembles an industry proposal carried by
Mike Enzi (R-WY) in 2006 discussed a report released today by Consumer Watchdog.
Here’s the language from the "Framework" document released by Baucus today:
"Interstate Sale of Insurance. Starting in 2015, states may form ‘health care choice compacts’ to allow for the purchase of non-group health insurance across state lines. Such compacts may exist between two or more states. Once compacts have been formed, insurers would be allowed to sell policies in any state participating in the compact. Insurers selling policies through a compact would only be subject to the laws and regulations of the state where the policy is written or issued."