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Insurance Reform: Look Who’s Talking

The Globe has a story about “lawmakers skeptical about insurance reform.” Let’s look at who is quoted as being opposed to insurance reform:

  • Senator Dianne Wilkerson: Her constituents are subsidized by the rest of the state. Virtually any reform plan results in them paying more, maybe even paying their fair share. She’s opposed.
  • Senator Mark Montigy: Another representative of the subsidized.
  • Attorney General Martha Coakley: She’s the one who gets to set rates in the current system. If the market gets to set the rates, she doesn’t get to have an annual press conference where she talks about how she told the insurance companies who was boss. It makes it harder for her to run for governor.
  • John Kittel of Arbella Insurance: He benefits from the lack of competition in the insurance market. He doesn’t write policies in Massachusetts out of the goodness of his heart. He’s making a ton of money in the current system, and a market reform would turn off the spigot.

One of the pro-reform quotes is from an insurance company with their own agenda – they want reform so they can enter the market. You have to read his words with a grain of salt.

But what does the insurance commissioner get out of this? Nothing that I see. She’s the closest to an independent voice that the article finds. And she says that it is time for change. I agree.