Stop insurance redlining in SJC | Letter

What if FDR had never pushed the Rural Electrification Act? Would we even have electrical service on Lopez Island? Would the electric companies have bypassed the islands because they were not profitable? We are facing the same dilemma today with the insurance industry and the Affordable Health Care Act. Premera has determined it is not profitable to do business in the islands and will not be offering their plans in SJI county. The residents of the islands have been redlined. How does that feel? Suddenly we have a less competitive market to choose from and we have been blackballed as if we had a pre-existing condition. Wasn’t the AHA set up to protect the citizens from this kind of discrimination? Because the islands have a high proportion of retired residents and a rural landscape that has fewer healthcare facilities we are less profitable. If a company decides to enter a state to compete in the healthcare market then they should be required to serve the whole market and not cherry pick the counties they want to serve. The insurance commission needs to address the problem of insurance redlining and require companies to serve everyone. I emailed both candidates running for the position of insurance commissioner and only received a reply from one. The incumbent did not reply. Richard Schrock did reply and agrees with my position. While I support the Democratic Party, I will have to break from the ticket on this issue and support Schrock against the insurance redlining.

Bryan Gooding

Lopez Island