from The News Service of Florida:
An administrative law judge Monday dismissed a challenge by the advocacy group Florida CHAIN to a form that would be sent to insurance customers about the estimated impacts of the federal Affordable Care Act on health-care premiums.
Florida CHAIN, which supports the federal act better known as Obamacare, filed the challenge against the state Office of Insurance Regulation, which has carried out a new state law requiring the form. Florida CHAIN contended that the form, which was developed through an administrative rule-making process, is invalid for a number of reasons.
As an example, the group said the premium amounts included in the form would not take into consideration tax credits that many people would be able to receive under the federal law.
But Administrative Law Judge John Van Laningham, in a 25-page order, found that Florida CHAIN and its policy director, Greg Mellowe, did not have legal standing to challenge the form. Van Laningham wrote that Florida CHAIN, which offers insurance to its employees, and Mellowe had not shown they would be injured.
Also, Van Laningham wrote that receiving the form would not require Florida CHAIN to rely on it.
"Nothing in the statute indicates that the purpose behind it was to assist recipients of the notice in making decisions about the purchase of insurance,'' the judge wrote. "The statute was instead clearly designed to educate Florida citizens about Obamacare, presumably to shape public opinion concerning that controversial federal law, whose very existence remains, as of this writing, a matter of intense political debate. While information about the estimated impact of Obamacare on monthly premiums might possibly influence some notice recipient's decision regarding the purchase of health insurance, such a result would be plainly incidental to the statute's purpose."