The Spokesman-Review gets it right in their assessment on the importance of the Insurance Commissioner’s race in the 2012 election,
“The race for Washington insurance commissioner may be down the primary election ballot, but who wins may be as important to Washington residents as the outcome of contests getting much more attention.
Why? Because full-scale implementation of Obamacare, unless derailed by a new president and Congress, arrives in 2014. The radical transformation of the health insurance market will require substantial energy and insight from an insurance commissioner working closely with the state’s congressional delegation, the governor and Legislature, and insurance companies bidding for customers in new exchanges.”
Here is what they have to say in their endorsement for Mike Kreidler to stay in Office,
“Incumbent Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a Democrat, has been a strong advocate for the exchanges, so much so that after the Legislature in March authorized one for Washington, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the state a $128 million grant to get one set up. Done well, an exchange will at least offer apples-to-apples comparisons for perplexed consumers.
Kreidler has instituted other measures to increase consumer understanding of how premiums are set. He has pressed, so far unsuccessfully, for legislation that would allow the insurance commissioner to take into account health insurance company surpluses in excess of $2 billion when setting rates. He had, several years ago, turned back an effort by Premera to become a for-profit company.
For those efforts and others, we have endorsed Kreidler for insurance commissioner in 2000, 2004, and 2008. We do so again for this primary.”