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Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler will seek reelection

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on April 11, 2012 at 9:36 am |
April 11, 2012 9:38 am

It would be his fourth term as the state’s insurance commissioner should incumbent Mike Kreidler win in November.

The former state lawmaker and one-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives said in an announcement this morning that he will make health care reform the centerpiece of this campaign.

“The people of our state have a right to choices for quality and affordable health care,” Kreidler said. “We can’t lose this opportunity to make sure that insurance companies compete on price and quality, not on how well they can avoid people with medical problems.”

Kreidler, a Democrat, was an optometrist in Olympia when he was elected to Congress in 1992. The retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves, Kreidler took a leave of absence from the state Senate to serve stateside during the first Gulf War. He was temporarily replaced in that office by his wife Lela Kreidler.

The only other candidate for the office who has filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission is Republican Martin (Scott) Reilly.

Here is the statement Kreidler’s campaign released this morning:

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler Announces Re-Election Bid

OLYMPIA, Wash. — State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced today that he will ask voters to return him to office for a fourth term.

“The people of Washington deserve a champion for consumers to protect their right to prompt and fair treatment by insurers. I am proud of our accomplishments over the last 11 years and will work to continue the progress we have made.”

Some of the accomplishments during Kreidler’s first three terms as Insurance Commissioner, include:
· Cutting excessive insurance rate increases by $310 million

· Helping individual consumers recover over $160 million on their insurance policies when payments were delayed or denied

· Restoring bankrupt insurers to financial solvency saving taxpayers millions of dollars

· Blocking the attempt by Premera Blue Cross to convert to for-profit status

· Successfully fighting attempts by big out-of-state insurance companies to take away legal protections for consumers

· Making health insurance rate filings transparent and open for public comment

· Fighting to minimize rate hikes by stopping non-profit health insurers from hoarding excessive profits

Kreidler said that a primary focus of his campaign will be to continue to fight for health care reform. “The people of our state have a right to choices for quality and affordable health care,” Kreidler said. “We can’t lose this opportunity to make sure that insurance companies compete on price and quality, not on how well they can avoid people with medical problems.”

Kreidler was elected Washington’s Insurance Commissioner in 2000 and re-elected in 2004 and 2008. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Doctor of Optometry. Kreidler worked in private practice as an optometrist for 20 years and was the owner of a successful small business. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves who served stateside during the first Gulf War. He and his wife, Lela, have three grown children and three grandchildren.

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