Strong negative experiences with electricity deregulation in other states, including soaring electric bills and rolling service interruptions, led the 2007 Virginia General Assembly to commit significant time and effort to addressing the Commonwealth’s own state of electricity deregulation. Consumer advocates, industry representatives and policy makers alike agreed that the deregulation plan of the late 1990s had failed to lower costs and that without dramatic changes Virginians, too, could face skyrocketing electric bills. The General Assembly took prudent action to avoid this consequence.
As policy makers consider deregulating health care services in Virginia, the lessons of electricity deregulation should color their deliberations. Thorough
planning and consumer protection are critical in deregulating important areas of citizens’ lives. Any deregulation must be accomplished responsibly or not at