A bill waiting to be heard on the Senate floor has been stripped down by Senate Republicans to protect the insurance industry, a pattern of behavior by the majority party that began quickly after they came into power for the first time in state history.
Senator Jim Wilson, one of the Senate’s watchdogs for insurance industry friendly bills, says the Senate Republicans appear to be ready to abandon consumer friendly health care reforms in the current version of SB1055, set to be heard before the legislature adjourns Sine Die on Friday. Those consumer friendly provisions included:
- Making it unlawful to pay bonuses to insurance executives or cancellation of policies or denial of claims; and
- Requiring insurance plans to spend 75% of the premiums they collect on actual medical care.
“Medicare spends 98 cents of every Medicare dollar on actual care," Senator Jim Wilson stated. “But in Oklahoma, big insurance only has to pay 60 cents of every dollar. I guess Senate Republicans feel that big insurance just isn't making enough profit on the backs of some of the most vulnerable Oklahomans.”
Wilson concluded by saying, “My question is quite simple: Is there anything more we can do to help out friends in the insurance industry? Perhaps they would like a wafer thin mint."