An Aug. 9 Bradenton Herald editorial, "Blame state lawmakers for big health insurance rates," reveals the truth about why Florida's health insurance rates are so high and climbing.
It puts the blame where it belongs -- on the shoulders of our state lawmakers. According to the article, "Some of our elected state officials wanted the Affordable Care Act to fail so spectacularly that they were willing to cause real harm to Florida families by intentionally driving up the cost of health insurance." Following is how they did it:
1. Senate Bill 1842 suspended the insurance commissioner's ability to negotiate and reject health insurance rate increases.
2. The Office of Insurance Regulation allowed the division of the Florida Obamacare insurance into 67 micro districts, a step that resulted in the removal of any competition from 21 counties so that a single insurer, Florida Blue, enjoyed a monopoly.
3. Legislators ordered letters sent to consumers specifically blaming Obamacare for the mess.
Consequently, Floridians who bought plans through HealthCare.gov will see their rates rise by an average of 13 percent.
Thanks to our state legislators for removing an empowered insurance commissioner, Floridians have no one to protect them from these insurance company abuses.
SB 1842 received a yes vote by 25 senators led by Republican Senate President Don Getz and 78 House members led by Republican Will Weatherford, and was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.
So, now we know the real reason for our high health insurance rates. If this doesn't raise the ire of Floridians against our lawmakers in Tallahassee as well as our governor, I don't know what will. We can send them a message on Election Day telling them what we think of their despicable behavior by voting them out, or we can continue to sit back and take it. What will you do?