WASHINGTON–A provision in both House and Senate healthcare legislation that would allow insurers to sell healthcare interstate is coming under fire from liberal members of the House from Maine and California.
And in the latest development on healthcare reform legislation, Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., today vowed in a speech on the Senate floor to pass the Senate version of reform legislation before Congress departs before Christmas for its holiday recess.
“We’re going to finish this health care bill before we leave here,” he said.
“For nearly an entire year, we have reached out to the other side, offered Republicans a seat at the table and negotiated in good faith,” he said. Now, he added, “we’re closer than ever to fixing a badly broken system and doing more to make sure every American can afford to live a healthy life than this country has done in decades.”
The interstate compact is a provision in the Senate bill that would allow insurers to sell policies in any state while subject only to the insurer’s domicile state regulations.
The House bill, H.R. 3962, would allow states to decide among themselves whose regulations would govern.
In a letter to both Senate and House leaders, 31 Democratic members of the House from Maine and California said if this provision passes, key patient rights mandated by laws in one state would be lost if an insurer domiciled in another jurisdiction could disregard that state’s benefit mandates.
The letter says that the House bill’s interstate compact provision “could make the regulations in the consumer-friendly state irrelevant.”