Welcome!

News Feed Item

No on Prop 45 Campaign Reports $37 Million Raised from Health Insurers; Amount is 3 Times the $12 Million Federal Refund Californians Just Got, says Consumer Watchdog Campaign

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Six health insurance companies financing the No on Proposition 45 committee have donated $37.3 million through June 30, 2014 against the ballot measure to regulate health insurance rates in California, according to campaign finance reports filed recently with the Secretary of State. This is more than three times the $12 million refund returned to Californians for 2013 under a federal Affordable Care Act rule requiring 80% of premiums to be spend on medical care.

Proposition 45 requires health insurance companies to get permission before raising rates, as is the rule in 35 other states. No federal or California agency has the power to reject unreasonable rate hikes today.  Prop 45 also gives the insurance commissioner the right to prevent health insurance companies from passing on lobbying costs, civil fines, bad faith judgments, campaign contributions, or excessive executive compensation, as is the rule for other insurance companies in the states.

"Ironically Proposition 45 prevents policyholders from paying higher premiums to subsidize political activities such as the $37 million health insurance companies will spend on deceptive radio and television ads to defeat Prop 45, which will no doubt keep insurance companies' financing of the campaign in the shadows," said Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog and proponent of the initiative. "Policyholders should not be billed for political campaigns that will allow health insurance companies to continue to raise rates without scrutiny or asking permission."

The No on 45 campaign has hired consultant Rick Claussen, creator of the infamous 1994 "Harry and Louise" advertising campaign against federal health care reform, to produce its $37 million advertising campaign, which is set to begin as early as mid August according to media buyers.

"Health insurers failed to dedicate adequate resources to health care and had to refund $12 million to consumers. Now they are spending three times that amount to defeat Proposition 45 which will force them to dedicate premium dollars to patient care," said Rob Leonard of Consumer Watchdog. "$37 million collected from sky high rates should be used to provide health care at reasonable costs, not to stop an initiative that will protect consumers from health insurer abuses."

The three health insurance companies controlling 75% of the private insurance market in California were the top contributors to the campaign to stop health insurance rate regulation. Kaiser gave $14.3 million, WellPoint $12.5 million and Blue Shield gave $9.5 million.

The $12 million refund Californians are receiving pales in comparison to the vast wealth and profits these companies generate. Kaiser, which controls 40% of the private insurance market in California had a total net income of $1.1 billion in the first quarter of 2014 and has an excess reserve of $12.7 billion. WellPoint just reported second quarter 2014 earnings of  $731 million, and Blue Shield's profits were $171 million in 2013. Anthem Blue Cross controls 20% of the California market and Blue Shield controls 15%.

Proposition 45 will:

  • Require health insurance companies to publicly disclose and justify, under penalty of perjury, proposed rate changes before they take effect.
  • Require public hearings on proposed rate increases.
  • Give Californians the right to challenge excessive and unfair premium rate increases.
  • Give the insurance commissioner authority to reject unjustified rate increases.
  • Extend its protections against rate hikes to 6 million individuals and small business owners, including the 1.4 million Covered California enrollees.

Consumer Watchdog campaign noted that policyholders should be wary of the good but unusual news of moderate average premium increases for 2015, which mask steep rate hikes for many. Last week's announcement included rate hikes of up to 16% for some Los Angeles area customers of WellPoint's Anthem Blue Cross. Anthem's rate increases were far above average in other areas as well, including hikes of 10 – 13% in Marin, 15 – 19% in Sacramento, and 10 – 14% in San Francisco. Health care premiums shot up 185% from 2002 to 2012 in California and are projected by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office to rise an average of 6% nationally from 2016 to 2024. Without Proposition 45 on the ballot in November, it's very likely premium increases in California for 2015 would have been higher, Consumer Watchdog campaign noted.

Paid for by Consumer Watchdog Campaign – Yes on 45, a coalition of consumer advocates, attorneys, policyholders, and nurses. 777 S. Figueroa St., Ste. 4050, Los Angeles, CA  90017. Major Funding by Consumer Watchdog Campaign and Thomas Steyer.

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog Campaign

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Predictive analytics tools monitor, report, and troubleshoot in order to make proactive decisions about the health, performance, and utilization of storage. Most enterprises combine cloud and on-premise storage, resulting in blended environments of physical, virtual, cloud, and other platforms, which justifies more sophisticated storage analytics. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Peter McCallum, Vice President of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor, discussed using predictive analytics to mon...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"When you think about the data center today, there's constant evolution, The evolution of the data center and the needs of the consumer of technology change, and they change constantly," stated Matt Kalmenson, VP of Sales, Service and Cloud Providers at Veeam Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Let’s face it, embracing new storage technologies, capabilities and upgrading to new hardware often adds complexity and increases costs. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Seth Oxenhorn, Vice President of Business Development & Alliances at FalconStor, discussed how a truly heterogeneous software-defined storage approach can add value to legacy platforms and heterogeneous environments. The result reduces complexity, significantly lowers cost, and provides IT organizations with improved efficienc...
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., and Logan Best, Infrastructure & Network Engineer at Webair, focused on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He gave an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He also outlined what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix ...