Bill to increase consumers on insurance exchange board passes House

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Yesterday the House unanimously passed a much improved version of HB 5013. The amendment added another consumer and another small business representative to the Board, in addition to the one each in the original bill raised by the Insurance Committee. Also different from the committee version, the bill gives Republicans a voice in nominating the new members. (The only small business person on the current Board was appointed by Rep. Cafero, ranking Republican in the House. There are no voting consumer representatives and three from the insurance industry.) The bill also gives the State Health Care Advocate a vote. Advocates for consumers and small businesses had been calling for this version, adding enough consumer and small businesses representatives to make a difference. Unfortunately, the current Board at its last meeting already made their critical decision about hiring a CEO without a consumer vote. The Governor is now choosing the CEO from among the three names given him by the current Board.