Sen. Randi Becker has introduced a bill eliminating the elected office of insurance commissioner, replacing it with a 10-member board who would hire a director. We’ve previously written on the merits of replacing an elected commissioner with one appointed by the governor. In 1999 we wrote:
The argument for making not only the insurance commissioner but nearly all executive offices appointive likewise appeals to the touchstone of accountability: If the governor, as the states chief executive officer, may not choose the department directors critical to carrying out the priorities of his administration, then he cannot be held fully accountable for its efficiency and effectiveness.
More recently, as part of our Thrive Washington series, we again emphasized accountability and noted the problems of the plural executive.
John Stang writes of the bill at Crosscut, noting the opposition expressed at the Senate Hearing yesterday and summarizing Becker’s comments.
Becker, who earlier criticized the commissioner’s office for slow approval of insurance carriers under the Affordable Care Act, said she introduced the bill because some people don’t believe the insurance commissioner’s office is listening to them. A board nominated by legislators, she said, would be more receptive.
Additional coverage in the Spokesman-Review.