Lawmakers in Maine have been working toward new health care laws in an effort to improve the state’s insurance market. Yesterday, Governor Paul LePage signed a new law that may clash with federal regulations that will come into effect the being of 2014. The new law will allow insurers to raise rates for older policyholders which, in some cases, can end up being five times higher compared to policies held by younger people. This comes into direct conflict with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, as do a number of other provisions in the new law.
Maine is the latest in a string of states that have passed laws that clash with the federal health care reform. Opponents have criticized the law and its supporters for being short-sighted. In two years, the law will have to be revisited and changes will have to be made so that it falls in line with new federal regulations. It will take time for changes to be enacted – time that can be better spent elsewhere, according to Sharon Treat, a state legislator.
Treat is one among several legislators that have proposed a bill to amend the law and align it with the Affordable Care Act.
The law is surrounded by controversy. Mila Kofman, the state’s insurance superintendent, abdicated her position in protest of the law. The state’s insurance office is claiming that they were not given an opportunity to review the law, arguing that it was pushed through the legislative process far too quickly.
Supporters of the new law hold that it will inspire competition in the state’s insurance market.