The California health insurance industry from the perspective of the Insurance Commissioner

California life Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
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California Insurance Commissioner Dave JonesDave Jones has been in office since early 2011 and has made healthcare reforms a top priority.

From the time that Dave Jones became the state insurance commissioner, California health insurance reforms have been a primary priority, and this goal has continued with a ballot measure that he is now backing.

The measure is the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act.

Should this measure pass, it will give him the authority to block increases to rates that he considers to be excessive. He explained that as this type of legislation has been sought but blocked for seven years because of the strength of HMOs in the Senate, he feels that the best way for this type of change to actually take place is to give the power to the voters and by placing it on the ballot in November.

The commissioner has also put his support behind the implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act, stating that it is the best opportunity for making sure that those who are currently uninsured will be able to receive health care. He also stated that the reforms are important as they require insurers to provide coverage regardless of whether or not they have any pre-existing coverage and that those individuals cannot be charged excessive premiums for their coverage.

According to Commissioner Jones, the Affordable Care Act means that this will eliminate many uninsured trips to emergency rooms.

Those ER visits have racked up quite a bill for the state, and making sure that everybody has adequate California health insurance coverage will mean that they will be able to afford to visit their own physicians.

When asked what will happen if the U.S. Supreme court should overturn the healthcare reforms and deem it unconstitutional, Jones replied that he believes that it is too soon to declare the Affordable Care Act to be dead, and that the Obama administration has explained quite clearly that the reforms that have been made are the only choice. There is no fallback plan. He added that in his state, they are making every effort to ensure that the elements of the overhaul are implemented to make California health insurance available and affordable to all of its residents.

 

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