Well, this got a lot of attention quickly.
The Argus is writing today on a bill that’s going to be introduced to override Initiated Measure 17… or legalize one organization’s interpretation, depending on your viewpoint… affecting a measure that was passed by the voters in 2014 by a 62% vote. And this topic is quickly rising to the status of being this years’ dark horse bill for controversial measures:
Businesses and consumers would have the ability to purchase health insurance plans that exclude some health providers under a bill that lawmakers will consider.
If passed, the bill would authorize so-called “narrow network” insurance plans, which have a small universe of health providers. The plans can be less expensive because the doctors and other health providers agree to charge lower amounts in exchange for the guaranteed volume generated by those covered in the plan.
But the bill could prove controversial because it amends an initiative that voters approved in 2014 requiring health insurance plans to be open to all providers who are willing to accept an insurance network’s terms and conditions. Initiated Measure 17 – which passed with a solid 62 percent majority.
If passed, the bill would essentially legalize the way Sanford Health Plans interpreted Initiated Measure 17. Sanford began offering a plan that includes all providers who want in, but it has also continued to offer narrow network plans to consumers and employers who want them.
Shannon Carder, who was the campaign manager for Initiated Measure 17, said lawmakers should listen to their constituents, a majority of which have said they support the provision.
“I can’t imagine that it would be a wise decision to go against the will of the voters,” Carder said. “We worked really hard with the people of South Dakota who wanted this measure. People wanted, plain and simple, to be the ones to choose who their doctor is.”
It will be interesting to watch this develop. Stay tuned for more!