Louisiana’s SB 173: Good or Bad for Consumers?

This morning, SB173, after unanimously passing in the Louisiana Senate, was reported favorably out of the House Insurance Committee on a 5-4 vote. The bill will be sent to the House floor in the next 2 weeks.  Now the debate begins over whether this is good for consumers or not.

Here are a couple of articles that seem to disagree:

Letter: SB 173 would help consumers make better insurance decisions

Consumers should reject Louisiana Senate Bill 173

At its core, this piece of legislation is very similar to HB 2015 – which passed into law in Texas in January of 2008.  Like SB 173, HB 2015 met with a tremendous amount of resistance – primarily from insurance companies.  I don’t remember seeing quite as much push back from consumer groups.

The debate is very interesting.  But, what happened to small group rates in TX immediately after this law was passed is even more interesting.  About 2 or 3 months after the law was passed, just about all of the carriers (Humana, BCBSTX, Aetna, etc.) announced decreases in the rates for their small group block.  Now, I can’t say for sure if this is related.  But, at a minimum, it is EXTREMELY coincidental.  So, coincidental, that I think this is worth passing just to SEE if it has the same effect.

I think Nancy Pelosi said it best, “let’s pass the bill so we can see what’s in it”.





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