Mike Kreidler has shined as a consumer advocate since federal health care reform took effect in 2014. He deserves re-election.

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Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has represented the people well both in the state and across the nation and should be re-elected for a fifth term. The Democrat has shined as a consumer advocate since federal health care reform took effect in 2014. He has made sure insurance companies selling policies in Washington follow the rules of the new federal law, encouraged more insurers to enter the market and helped people fed up with problems at the Washington health insurance exchange.

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Mike Kreidler

Mike Kreidler

Insurance Commissioner

Strengths: Industry knowledge, consumer advocacy, ability to change his mind when the situation called for change

The Democrat has shined as a consumer advocate since federal health care reform took effect in 2014."

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Just like the lack of perfection at Washington Healthplanfinder, Kreidler’s office could also improve its record. His opponents disagree with the way he has handled rate requests from insurance companies and want him to force those companies to bring more health care providers into their networks.

Although broader networks could be a good thing for consumer choice, they would likely lead to higher insurance premiums. Kreidler says consumers should be able to choose between better insurance coverage or cheaper prices.

And, as his Republican opponent Richard Schrock, a Snohomish County Fire District 1 commissioner, says, Kreidler should continue to improve his performance and make sure he doesn’t fall into another black hole like the one Kreidler climbed out of after many Washington parents discovered their new health insurance policies wouldn’t pay for essential services at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Kreidler helped negotiate agreements that brought the hospital into the insurance companies’ networks after Seattle Children’s filed a lawsuit.

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Libertarian candidate Justin Murta, an employee benefits consultant and disc jockey, has some intriguing ideas about opening up the marketplace further. He also encouraged Kreidler to do more to help homeowners with more possibilities for earthquake and flood insurance.

Kreidler is the clear choice. He should keep working to make his office better and not rest on his successes with the Affordable Care Act here in Washington, which has put him in the national spotlight.