One of the most important parts of federal healthcare reform is the requirement that each state setup its own new health insurance marketplace known as an "exchange." CBIA strongly supports the creation of an exchange in Connecticut that will bring all stakeholders to the table and promote our existing private market.

While the Insurance and Real Estate Committee approved a bill that will do just that (SB 921), the Public Health Committee took an opposite and much odder approach.

Public Health approved SB 1204, which establishes a health insurance exchange but does so in a way that all but ensures that the exchange will receive next to no input from experts in healthcare or health insurance. (Here's how the committee voted.)

That's because the bill actually says that anyone with actual healthcare experience is simply barred from serving on the exchange's board of directors.The list of barred individuals includes both those involved in the health insurance industry as well as doctors, hospitals and other providers.

It’s hard to understand what public good is being served by setting up a governing authority that expressly shuts out individuals who have the most expertise in an issue. Imagine the state’s board of accountancy without accounting professionals—what would that accomplish?

Such an effort to keep individuals with real experience away is both astonishing and can only lead to ill-informed policymaking.

Businesses hope that the overall legislature sees the folly of such a decision and opts to reject SB 1204 and approve SB 921 instead.