Not a Good Sign
It is hard to view the appointment of long time O’Malley retainer Ralph S. Tyler III as insurance commissioner with anything less than a feeling of impending dread.
Often people view insurance as a free lunch. It isn’t. Tyler’s bias in favor of the plaintiff’s bar means that insurance will become more expensive in Maryland pretty much as surely as your income taxes and gas taxes are going to rise during the next session of the General Assembly. His close connection with O’Malley doesn’t leave one sanguine about decisions being made in the best interest of the citizens of the state given what we’ve seen thus far with the land deals O’Malley associates have been involved in.
His much ballyhooed tussle with BGE over a significant rate increase resulted in bupkis. As Martin Watcher quips, “Tyler is famous for being the reason that BGE ratepayers are now paying 72.5% instead of the original 72%.”
Of course, if your goal is more state control of insurance, like, for instance, a Massachusetts-style health care policy, then increasing prices by driving up the cost of doing business has certain benefits. You can make the insurance companies the bad guys and step in to protect the people from a problem you’ve created.