Should California Stop Having Two Health Insurance Regulators?

The two-headed beast that regulates health insurance in California is under fire. For the first time in a decade, healthcare leaders in Sacramento are publicly asking whether it’s time to junk overlapping bureaucracies that police health insurers and HMOs. Some suggest that a single agency would be better equipped to serve the public and tackle a maze of new healthcare rules from the federal government. Others say such a move would distract from more pressing issues facing lawmakers and regulators. The existing system – with an elected insurance commissioner and a separate agency under Gov. Jerry Brown – has confused consumers, has driven up costs and now threatens to undercut the state’s ability to implement federal healthcare reforms, several experts say.

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