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- THE BUZZ: The faces of Blair
- GUEST OPINION: Fueling the future
- WELL, THAT HAPPENED: Crafty comedienne
- FOODIE FILES: Lazy August drinking
- Democrats forward three to BCC
- MUSIC BOX: Honkytonk and Ferris wheels
- CREATIVE PEAKS: Cowboy State cool
Speaker Simpson and Health Care
Representative Colin Simpson, the Speaker of the Wyoming House of Representatives has been working for years for improvements to our health care system. Below is a letter that he sent out earlier today describing some of the bills that he is working on.
As this budget session continues, there are two bills I’d like to highlight that may be acted upon this week by the Wyoming House of Representatives. During these tough economic times we need to reduce costs for hard-working Wyomingites – so they can afford health coverage – and reduce costs for small businesses so they can create new jobs. These bills do both.
The first is the Wyoming Affordable HSA Eligible High Deductible Health Plan Act (House Bill 108), which follows a market-based approach to reduce health insurance premiums by encouraging the use of health savings accounts (HSAs) coupled with low premium health plans.
HB108, as amended by the House Corporation’s committee, encourages consumer choice by making quality affordable healthcare coverage more available and can help promote the use of these plans. The goals of the legislation are to encourage people to use pre-tax dollars to pay for health expenses, including health insurance; promote personal responsibility and preventative care; and incentivize people to look for value in what they are buying. The bill does not contain individual or employer mandates and it does not impose non-participation penalties.
The second bill I’d like to bring your attention is House Bill 128, which seeks to allow Wyoming citizens the option of purchasing health insurance across state lines. The bill was laid back at my request until February 18th so I can study similar legislation working its way through the Georgia Senate and propose improvements to my bill. A few states, like Wyoming and Georgia, are trying to figure out how to open up the market to more available and affordable insurance coverage for their citizens. More insured citizens means lower costs for taxpayers. By promoting uniformity and reciprocity of laws and regulations among a handful of states we can lower administrative costs for insurers and insurance costs for the consumer.
Both of these bills are an important part of a collection of state actions whose cumulative effect can help lower the cost of health insurance and make health insurance plans affordable for Wyoming citizens.
With kind personal regards,
Colin M. Simpson
Wyoming Speaker of the House
P.S. Come take a look at my redesigned website, with up-to-date news, links to streaming audio, and more!