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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mike Kreidler
Oic-commissioner-kreidler.jpg
Insurance Commissioner of Washington
Assumed office
January 10, 2001
GovernorGary Locke
Christine Gregoire
Jay Inslee
Preceded byDeborah Senn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 9th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byConstituency established
Succeeded byRandy Tate
Personal details
Born (1943-09-28) September 28, 1943 (age 77)
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Lela Kreidler
Children3
EducationPacific University (BS)
University of California, Los Angeles (OD, MPH)
WebsiteGovernment website

Myron Bradford "Mike" Kreidler (born September 28, 1943) is an American Democratic politician serving his fifth term as the Washington Insurance Commissioner. Previously, he served one term in the United States House of Representatives, representing Washington's 9th congressional district.

Education and early career

Kreidler holds a bachelor's degree and a doctor of optometry from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.[1][2] After his US Army service as an optometry officer, he earned a master of public health degree in health administration from the UCLA School of Public Health.[1][2]

He was employed as an optometrist by Group Health Cooperative of the Puget Sound in the Olympia clinic for twenty years.[1] In 1973, he won a seat on the North Thurston School Board.[1] He also served in the Washington State Legislature for 16 years.[1]

Political career

Kreidler served 16 years in the Washington Legislature.[1][3] He was in the Washington House of Representatives from 1976–1984 and then the Washington State Senate from 1984–1992. He was elected to the United States Congress as a Representative from the 9th congressional district of Washington in 1992.[3][4] He was defeated by Republican Randy Tate in 1994.[3]

Following his re-election defeat to Congress in 1994, he was appointed to the Northwest Power Planning Council in 1995 by Washington Governor Mike Lowry and subsequently re-appointed by Governor Gary Locke.[5] He served on the NWPPC until 1998 when he was appointed Regional Director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services's Region 10 office in Seattle, Washington, serving in that post until 2000, when he resigned in order to seek election to the office of Washington State Insurance Commissioner.[6]

Kreidler is Washington’s eighth insurance commissioner. He was first elected as insurance commissioner in 2000.[1][2] He was re-elected to a fifth term in 2016.[7]

He retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Army Reserves with 20 years of service.[8]

Health care

Kreidler has focused on health reform most of his career and worked to implement the Affordable Care Act in Washington state. He was the first insurance commissioner[9] to reject President Obama's proposal to give insurers another year to sell pre-Affordable Care Act plans and testified before Congress on the law's impact on Washington state.

He has opposed efforts by the Trump administration to dismantle the Affordable Care Act,[10] including coverage for pre-existing conditions and limiting the sale of short-term medical plans.[11]

Surprise billing

In 2019, Kreidler proposed legislation banning the practice of surprise medical billing. After several extreme cases[12] were highlighted in the news, support for his proposal increased and the bill was signed into law later that year.

Health care sharing ministries

Kreidler has taken action against fake health sharing ministries[13] and in 2019, he fined one company and its affiliate more than $1 million for selling sham health sharing ministry memberships in Washington state to thousands of consumers.

Climate change

Since 2007, Kreidler has chaired the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Climate Change and Global Warming Work Group. He led a successful push for insurers to disclose if and how they are preparing for the potential risks associated with climate change.[14]

Controversies

  • The Seattle Times editorialized that Kreidler was "[s]low to stand up for the tens of thousands of families struggling to get necessary care for loved ones with mental illness. Astoundingly, his office has not taken a single enforcement action on the law, and a proposed rule to strengthen enforcement has languished in his office for two years."[15] It took class-action attorneys to win a judgment at the Washington Supreme Court for those with autism being denied care by insurers, with no help from Kreidler.
  • Taxpayers paid a $450,000 settlement to whistleblower after State Auditor Troy Kelley refused to investigate her complaint against a Kreidler chief deputy—there was no discipline for the chief deputy.[16]
  • Taxpayers paid $50,000 settlement, following a $20,000 investigation, after a Kreidler chief deputy allegedly harassed a worker who was forced to borrow sick leave from co-workers while the chief deputy enjoyed two months of paid leave before finally being dismissed.[17]
  • Kreidler had a chief deputy quit following a 2013 hallway argument over a plant Kreidler wanted to accept as a gift from a special interest. Most executive staff followed.[18]
  • In June 2017 the 73-year-old regulator was rocked by news that Washington's health insurers were increasing rates for 2018 by an average of over 22 percent.[19] A long-time apologist for insurance companies, Kreidler had, just days before his 2016 re-election, dismissed 2017 increases averaging 13.6% as "a one-time adjustment."[20] A July 2017 Seattle Times article described Kreidler as "sympathetic to insurers" despite their huge surpluses.[21]

Personal life

Kreidler resides in Lacey, Washington with his wife, Lela. They have three grown children[1] and three grandchildren. He is a member of several professional and fraternal organizations. He retired from the United States Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel, after serving on active duty as an optometrist during the Vietnam and first Persian Gulf wars.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ostrom, Carol M. (June 8, 2014). "Longtime leader Mike Kreidler plunges into political storms". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Camden, Jim (July 18, 2020). "Insurance Commissioner race pits 20-year veteran against two newcomers | The Spokesman-Review". The Spokesman Review. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Kreidler Won't Seek Old House Seat | The Spokesman-Review". The Spokesman Review. November 4, 1995. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  4. ^ Grimaldi, James (April 30, 1997). "Political Life Can Weigh On Families -- Rep. Rick White, Wife Separating; Image As Family Man May Suffer | The Seattle Times". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  5. ^ "Three Sovereigns Plan Targets Basin Woes With Salmon Stocks At Risk, Dozens Of Agencies Are Trying To Gather At A Single Table | The Spokesman-Review". The Spokesman Review. March 31, 1998. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  6. ^ "What happened when these states implemented a 'skinny repeal' of the Affordable Care Act". PBS NewsHour. July 27, 2017. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  7. ^ "Washington Insurance Commissioner Results: Mike Kreidler Wins". The New York Times. August 1, 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  8. ^ "ELECTION: Insurance commissioner (Kreidler v. Schrock)". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved August 31, 2020.
  9. ^ Kliff, Sarah (November 16, 2013). "Washington insurance regulator supports obamacare and rejected obamas fix". Washington Post.
  10. ^ Demko, Paul (November 13, 2018). "Washington state defying trump obamacare moves". Politico.
  11. ^ Luthi, Susannah (March 6, 2018). "Washington insurance commissioner to set protections for short-term plan enrollees". Modern Healthcare.
  12. ^ Aleccia, JoNel (March 30, 2019). "State laws ban surprise medical bills. A Washington woman got one for $227,000 — and fought back". Seattle Times.
  13. ^ Hill, Kip (June 9, 2019). "Washington regulators target faith-based health care firm that Spokane Valley woman says scammed her". Spokesman Review.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ staff, Seattle Times (October 14, 2014). "Editorial: Ending exclusions under state's mental-health parity law". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  16. ^ Bauman, Valerie (May 21, 2014). "State auditor won't investigate case of whistleblower insurance judge". Puget Sound Business Journal.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "An OIC Employee Airing Internal Politics?". State of Reform. May 27, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  19. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Washington health insurance premiums have smaller increases than plans in Idaho or through federal exchange". Spokesman.com. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  21. ^ "Health insurers seek double-digit rate increases in Washington state — despite billion-dollar reserves". The Seattle Times. July 16, 2017. Retrieved May 24, 2019.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 9th congressional district

1993–1995
Succeeded by
Randy Tate
Political offices
Preceded by
Deborah Senn
Insurance Commissioner of Washington
2001–present
Incumbent
This page was last edited on 14 October 2020, at 15:11
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