Saturday, July 08, 2006

Short Pause for State Politics


As you can see, I'm voting for Eric Carter
for Kansas Insurance Commissioner.


Why should I vote for Eric Carter?
Kansas consistently ranks as one of the most expensive states in which to purchase insurance. When compared to a surrounding five state area, the picture is even worse, with Kansas being the number one and number two most expensive state in terms of the cost of insurance for healthcare and homeowners, respectively.

Why are Kansans paying more for their insurance than their neighbors? Due to misguided regulatory policies of the current Commissioner, there are fewer and fewer insurance companies doing business in Kansas. In fact, in the healthcare markets, one company alone now serves 67% of the Kansas marketplace. A historically proven fact is playing itself out in the Kansas insurance market – reduced competition quickly results in higher prices. And, with few companies competing, fewer products are being offered to serve specific needs of Kansas consumers, thus consumer choice is also negatively impacted.

The loss of competition in our state is not an accidental event. The current Commissioner is actively pushing for an increased government presence in the market, advocating socialized medicine and a vast expansion of Medicaid entitlement programs. The effect of her efforts is to further crowd out the private market, pushing the cost of private insurance ever higher.
What does Eric propose?
First, COMPETITION must be restored to the marketplace to reduce prices and provide greater consumer choice. Second, Eric has long been an outspoken advocate for TORT REFORM, and will continue to champion that cause as Insurance Commissioner. Unnecessary litigation costs incurred due to frivolous lawsuits are a leading cause of increased insurance premiums. Finally, the red-tape, slow pace bureaucracy that characterizes the Kansas Department of Insurance under its current leadership needs a thorough overhaul with an eye toward efficiency.
What is an Insurance Commissioner?
The Kansas Commissioner of Insurance is responsible for the regulation of all forms of insurance offered for sale in the state. Life, Health, Auto, and Homeowner insurance are the most common forms of insurance encountered by Kansas consumers. However, there are additional products such as hybrid insurance/investment products that are within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner.

While regulation is the principal function of the office, in recent years the role of the Commissioner has gained more prominence and influence on the legislative process dealing with the management of healthcare costs for employees, businesses, and individual consumers.


Source: Eric Carter's The Time to ACT is Now! (Affordability through Competition and Tort reform.)

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