At a Sunset Advisory Commission meeting last week, Republican senators Kim Brimer (Fort Worth), Craig Estes (Wichita Fallas) and Bob Deuell (Greenville) and Representative Lois Kolkhorst (Brenham) sided with liberals in calling for a return to the bad-old-days of heavy-handed government regulation. Such efforts would only restrict the marketplace, hike prices and limit availability.
Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and the efforts were dashed.
State Sen. Glenn Hegar (Katy), and State Reps. Carl Isett (Lubbock), who chairs the commission, along with commonsense legislators Linda Harper-Brown (Irving) and Dan Flynn (Van), successfully fended off the anti-free market forces. They were joined in the fight by the public appointees of Speaker Tom Craddick and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
Benefits to consumers isn’t just theory. Where there has been true deregulation of the insurance market, consumers have seen lower prices and more choices.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation noted in a press statement that “competitive insurance reforms adopted by Washington, D.C., Illinois, and South Carolina attracted insurers, lowered or stabilized premiums, and decreased the size of residual markets, which are markets for insurance applicants that primary markets deem too risky.”
A really good study on the insurance market in Texas was written by TPPF’s Bill Peacock and Drew Thornley.