Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Mike Kriedler and R-67

Am I the only one who believes it was totally and completely unethical for Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler to not only come out and publicly endorse R-67, but to be the public spokesman for it as well?

What brings this up is the fact I received an invitation to the Washington State Democratic Party's annual "Holiday Party," so I could join in and honor Kriedler, "For the outstanding leadership he demonstrated on behalf of consumers during the R-67 campaign."

Yeah, right...

The fact that R-67 should have been named the Trial Lawyers Full Employment Act aside, in my view, Kriedler abused his office and betrayed the public trust by endorsing a measure that would have a definite financial impact on the companies he is elected to regulate. No matter how you felt about R-67, for Kriedler to be the mouthpiece for this initiative was not only a major conflict of interest, it was just flat out wrong. To honor him for blatantly betraying the public trust is like rewarding a terrorist for saving lives because his suicide bomb failed to detonate.

Kriedler's policies as Insurance Commissioner are the main reason we only have a handful of health insurance providers left doing business in this state, and have directly resulted in the enormous healthcare cost burden we all face.

He's blatantly anti-business. Don't think so? Here's an example of his "leadership." Title insurance companies can no longer donate to non-profit community organizations — or anything else for that matter — without risking a minimum $10,000 fine. Kriedler even went as far as fining one title insurance company for sending flowers to the funeral of one of its clients who passed away. Did he think that client was going to be unduly influenced to send future business their way, or what?

And let's not forget the KPS giveaway. Kriedler "sold" KPS — which was profitable and well on the road to full financial recovery, to his former employer Group Health. What essentially happened, was Group Health took $19 million dollars out of one pocket, put it in another marked "KPS," and took ownership of the company. In reality, KPS didn't cost Group Health one red cent. It acquired all of its assets — including the money it had in the bank, all its reserves for paying claims (which could be deducted from the $19 million total it used to "buy" KPS), all its policyholder business, and the headquarters building at 400 Warren Avenue in Bremerton. Talk about a sweetheart deal...

Its time for a new Insurance Commissioner — one with ethics — and certainly one who understands Economics 101.


  1. Insurance and ethics don't mix. ;)

    I'm not a fan of the industry as a whole, and I'm not surprised anyone so involved with it might have a lose grasp on ethics.

  2. I know that this is old news, but I e-mailed him (or at least his office) about a week after I saw the first ad, expressing my views that he should not have endorsed either side and that his ads actually made it sound like he was not doing his job. got a "canned" answer that he felt it was his "duty" to express his views on the "right" side of the issue and thanked me for my input but his office is and has always done the right things for the people of Washington. I wish now that I had not trashed the e-mail from him.