For the past several months, California legislators have been toiling over a bill that would give the state’s insurance regulators expansive new powers. The bill would have expanded upon regulator’s authority and enabled them to reject or revive insurance rate proposals from the state’s insurance companies. The bill has generated a fair amount of opposition, especially from insurers who are loathe to see regulators wielding more authority. Now the future of the bill is uncertain, as its author, Assemblyman Mike Feuer of Los Angeles, pulls it from consideration.
Feuer’s legislation has been gaining support from his fellow lawmakers as it made its way through the state’s Legislature. The bill was meant to help regulators rein in on what is becoming a health system spiraling out of control, as evidenced by rampant rate increases. California’s Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, was a supporter of the bill, saying that more authority was necessary in order to keep balance in the insurance industry.
Opponents of the bill claimed that too much authority could stifle the industry, limiting its opportunity to grow and adapt to emerging trends in health care. Insurers have been the most outspoken opponents of the bill, saying that their insurance rate hikes are completely justified given the rate at which the costs for medical care are rising.
Feuer pulled his bill from consideration with only two weeks left in the legislative session. He does not believe that the legislation has enough support to make its way through the Senate successfully, but plans to renew his efforts next year, if support for the bill can last that long.