No One Can Limit FL Rate Increases
In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Democratic members of Congress from Florida accuse the state of relinquishing power over health insurance rates to the federal government -- which lacks enforcement authority. According to PolitiFact, their claim is true.
The fact-checking project sums it up this way: State lawmakers who wanted nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act basically told the federal government they were going to comply -- but weren’t going to implement all of the optional pieces, such as Medicaid expansion and rate-setting authority.
During legislative hearings, Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty argued that it made sense to leave regulation to the federal government, since rules to implement the Affordable Care Act were still being written at the time. No one objected, since the full impact was left unclear.
Now it’s clear: PolitiFact says the law the legislature passed prevents state insurance officials from negotiating lower rates or rejecting rates that are too high. And the federal government doesn’t actually have that power.
Some states, including California, have taken strong action to negotiate lower rates this year. Florida won’t be able to do that.