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NO. R-219. JOINT RESOLUTION RELATING TO FEDERAL PREEMPTION OF VERMONT'S CONSUMER PROTECTION STANDARDS AND REGULATION OF HEALTH INSURANCE.

(J.R.S. 80)

Offered by: Committee on Finance.

Whereas, Vermont has traditionally had the authority to regulate insurance providers operating in this state and has exercised this authority with great care and diligence, and

Whereas, Vermont has established an integrated set of statutes to protect consumers and insure adequate insurance coverage is available to all Vermonters, and

Whereas, Vermont has the experience and expertise to regulate health insurance organizations, and

Whereas, the Congress of the United States is considering legislation that would allow association health plans, HealthMarts, and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) to avoid these well thought out state regulations, and

Whereas, the Congress of the United States is also considering legislation which would preempt Vermont's carefully crafted external appeals process, and could undermine Vermont's authority to resolve consumer grievances and enforce consumer protection laws, and

Whereas, adequate consumer safeguards are not available, absent these state regulations, and

Whereas, Vermont's approach to ensuring access to affordable health care insurance would be undermined by this legislation, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly opposes any effort to reduce or restrict Vermont's traditional authority to regulate insurance providers and protect consumers, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly strongly urges the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation to vigorously oppose any legislation that would weaken Vermont's authority to regulate insurance providers and protect consumers, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State send a copy of this resolution to each member of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.