Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center provides insight into a Friday ruling by a Thurston County Superior Court judge
Washington Policy Center
Judge Mary Sue Wilson ruled Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler did not have “good cause” to file an emergency order banning the use of credit scores in setting insurance rates.
Kreidler sought legislation that would have done the same thing just months before. But when his idea, a recurring one, didn’t succeed, he chose to bypass the state’s legislative body and make his desire an emergency order, instead.
This misuse of power was called out by the Thurston County Superior Court judge on Friday and offers another example of why Washington needs emergency powers reform.
Kreidler has expressed disappointment with the ruling and says he is weighing his options. The option he should definitely weigh is allowing state lawmakers to have a say. They are elected to represent us through careful deliberation of issues. And had that been allowed, the market disruption caused by Kreidler might not have resulted in insurance premiums spiking for many people across the state — including senior citizens and low-income Washingtonians with little ability to handle the abrupt change to their finances. (Read more about that here.)
The harm won’t be fixed overnight. An industry insider told KIRO 7 News not to expect action until the insurance industry gets more clarity on what tools it can use in determining insurance premiums. Until then, they say there is “no need to jack people’s rates around again,” reports Jesse Jones.
Elizabeth Hovde is the director of the Center for Health Care and Center for Worker Rights at the Washington Policy Center. She is also a resident of Clark County.