In the race for state Insurance commissioner, the decision is very easy. Incumbent Mike Kreidler is the clear choice.
Kreidler, a Democrat seeking his fifth term, is doing a solid job at a time when it’s difficult to oversee the changing and volatile insurance industry.
Kreidler said he would have retired now but he believes it is important to stay with the job over the next four years as the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — is fully implemented. He believes Washington is going in the right direction but there is still work to do so the majority of state residents will benefit.
Washington state has emerged as a leader in implementing Obamacare. He believes it’s his role to keep costs down and make certain the public receives the services they need.
Kreidler has drilled deeply into the intricacies of the ACA to fully understand what has been done and what needs to be done. Kreidler describes himself as “a kid in a candy store” when looking at taking on the challenges ahead.
Washington needs him running this office at this time.
Kreidler challenger, Republican Richard Schrock, is simply overmatched.
Schrock is a smart person with good ideas and an understanding of the issues, but he doesn’t have the depth and breadth of experience of Kreidler. His only elected experience is as a two-term commissioner of the Snohomish County Fire District. He served a director of the Washington state Department of Commerce under former Gov. John Spellman in the early 1980s.
Schrock works hard to make a case that he should replace Kreidler, but it’s a tough sell. Kreidler’s office seems to be responsive to the changes in the insurance market and looking out for consumers who are being treated unfairly by insurers.
Still, Schrock campaign is welcome. He forced Kreidler to hit the road, meet the public and campaign for re-election.
Every public official should face the voters on a regular basis as a reality check.
Although, in Kreidler’s case, the nudge does not seem to be needed. He is fully engaged even after a long career as an optometrist, state legislator and a member Congress.
Kreidler is a solid leader, manager and public servant.
We strongly recommend him for a fifth term as insurance commissioner.