Mila Kofman wants the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to sink any new association health plan measures that might surface in Congress.
Senate Democrats recently blocked passage of the best-known small business AHP bill, S. 1955, but that bill or another AHP bill could emerge, according to Kofman, a researcher at George Washington University who serves as an NAIC-funded consumer representative.
The NAIC as a body needs to oppose any such measures more forcefully than it opposed S. 1955, Kofman says.
Kofman says she will make that argument at the NAIC’s upcoming summer meeting in Washington.
Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., and other sponsors of S. 1955 tried to appeal to regulators by requiring that small business AHPs get their coverage from an insurance company that would be regulated by its home-state insurance department.
Kofman says S. 1955 would have done nothing to deal with the factors driving up health care system costs. Instead, the bill would have weakened consumer rights by pre-empting state ratings laws and mandated benefit laws, Kofman says.
Kofman is praising a group of about 20 state insurance commissioners who asked their senators to oppose S. 1955. But Kofman says the NAIC should have sent a more forceful message about the bill.