Rep. Peterson stalls insurance mandates

Friday, February 8th 2008, 5:46 pm
By: News 9


State Rep. Ron Peterson wants to require a cost-benefit analysis and a one-year wait period before any insurance mandate proposals can be voted upon in Oklahoma.  

The bill received the approval of the House Economic Development and Financial Services Committee.

"There have been many insurance mandates enacted in recent years and they have contributed to the rapid rise in the cost of health care," said Peterson, R-Broken Arrow, in a press release. "House Bill 3111 requires the Legislature to take a more informed and less emotional look at these mandates in the future."

Under the bill's provisions, insurance mandates could only be filed during odd-numbered years and would only receive a vote from lawmakers in even-numbered years. During the first year after filing, legislative staff would perform a thorough actuarial analysis on each proposed mandate to determine its potential impact on the cost of health care.

Peterson noted the bill mirrors similar successful reforms recently enacted for the state's pension systems.

"We need to determine the true cost of these mandates before we pass them," Peterson said in a press release. "Given the extreme costs that already exist in the health care system, it's just common sense to ensure we aren't making a tough situation worse for those Oklahomans who struggle to buy health insurance. A well-meaning mandate won't help people if it prices them out of the insurance market."

An estimate 700,000 people in Oklahoma are uninsured today.