The Oklahoman, Sunday Feb 17, 2008
An Oklahoma City senator says a House bill limiting mandates on insurance companies is a "sellout” to special interests and a "stake in the heart” of people who often are victims of arbitrary insurance policy rules that deny them access to health care.
Sen. Andrew Rice, D-Oklahoma City, referred to House Bill 3111, which passed the House of Representatives on Thursday. It would place restrictions on new health insurance mandates.
The bill would limit legislators from introducing and passing a bill mandating coverage unless it is introduced in an odd-numbered year. Legislators could act on it in an even-numbered year.
HB 3111's author is Rep. Ron Peterson, R-Broken Arrow. He told House members the measure is intended to attempt to reduce the price of health insurance.
Rice is the author of Senate Bill 1521, called "Steffanie's Law,” which is named after Steffanie Collings, a Noble teenager who has been battling brain cancer.
Rice's legislation would require insurance companies to continue coverage of routine medical care for critically ill patients who submit to clinical trials.