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Blog Post
11/5/2014
By Jamie Court
$100 million spent by insurance companies against our two pro-consumer initiatives, coupled with an historic low voter turnout, was a recipe for consumers to lose Tuesday night.   The defeat of California Propositions 45 and 46 are a sobering reminder of the power of big corporate money in California politics when the electorate is not engaged. A mere 5 million Californians voted Tuesday,...
News Release
11/4/2014
Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA - TV stations in a dozen California markets skipped coverage of consumer friendly Propositions 45 and 46, despite the fact that $100 million from insurance companies flooded stations with advertising revenue. The ballot measures hold insurance companies and dangerous doctors they insure accountable. “TV stations have been the beneficiaries of a deceptive ad campaign funded...
Blog Post
11/3/2014
By Harvey Rosenfield
No candidate on the ballot this year can do as much for you as two propositions backed by Consumer Watchdog, Consumer Federation and other champions of the underdog.  YES ON PROP 45 will give us the power to stop price gouging by the health insurance companies.Congress requires us to buy health insurance, but they didn’t limit how much the insurance companies can charge...
News Release
11/3/2014
Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog today warned voters that insurance companies had spent more than $100 million on deceptive advertising opposing pro-consumer Propositions 45 and 46.   “The $100 million campaigns bankrolled by insurance companies against Props 45 and 46 are meant to scare voters against initiatives that will hold insurance companies accountable for excessive...
Video
11/3/2014
Lauren Sivan looks at what Prop 45 will do for consumers if passed, and how the insurance companies are spending tens of millions of dollars to stop it.
Blog Post
10/29/2014
By Jamie Court
Four health insurance companies are spending $56 million to defeat California Proposition 45, a ballot measure to be decided Tuesday, which I wrote, that bans excessive insurance rate hikes. The insurance companies have unleashed a torrent of deceptive advertising but have remarkably refused to issue a single comment to the news media on Prop 45, including in today's New York Times. Like the...
Video
10/29/2014
A group of price-gouged policyholders, nurses and consumer advocates descended on the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Monday night with a truck load of steer manure to give back to the CEOs feting Kaiser's chief what they have been shoveling to Californians in their advertising against Prop 45.
Video
10/29/2014
Right now, health insurance companies can charge excessive rates and get away with it. Prop 45 changes all that. Backed by consumer advocates, Prop 45 will require health insurance companies to justify their rate hikes before they take effect. Don't be fooled by the health insurance industry's lies: No state or federal agency can now stop excessive rate hikes in California. Vote Yes on...
News Release
10/28/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
San Francisco, CA—Consumer Watchdog, the California Nurses Association and supporters of Yes on Proposition 45 delivered a truckload of steer manure to health insurance industry executives who gathered at the Fairmont Hotel today to fete former Kaiser CEO George Halvorson. “We’re here to return to the health insurance CEOs who have been hiding behind the deceptive $57 million ad...
Video
10/28/2014
YES on Prop 45: Watch this Doctor SMASH Big Insurance's $55 MILLION propaganda campaign.
Blog Post
11/5/2014
By Jamie Court
$100 million spent by insurance companies against our two pro-consumer initiatives, coupled with an historic low voter turnout, was a recipe for consumers to lose Tuesday night.   The defeat of California Propositions 45 and 46 are a sobering reminder of the power of big corporate money in California politics when the electorate is not engaged. A mere 5 million Californians voted Tuesday,...
Blog Post
11/3/2014
By Harvey Rosenfield
No candidate on the ballot this year can do as much for you as two propositions backed by Consumer Watchdog, Consumer Federation and other champions of the underdog.  YES ON PROP 45 will give us the power to stop price gouging by the health insurance companies.Congress requires us to buy health insurance, but they didn’t limit how much the insurance companies can charge...
Blog Post
10/29/2014
By Jamie Court
Four health insurance companies are spending $56 million to defeat California Proposition 45, a ballot measure to be decided Tuesday, which I wrote, that bans excessive insurance rate hikes. The insurance companies have unleashed a torrent of deceptive advertising but have remarkably refused to issue a single comment to the news media on Prop 45, including in today's New York Times. Like the...
Blog Post
11/22/2013
By Jamie Court
An analysis just released by California’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, offers the first real insight into the depth of the Obamacare cancellation crisis. About 450,000 of the 900,000 cancelled California policyholders will see rate hikes, according to the analysis released by Covered California.  That’s 50% of all cancelled Californians who will be paying more...
Blog Post
11/19/2013
Harvey Rosenfield
Regulation of insurance companies, introduced by Proposition 103, could repair a loophole in the Affordable Care Act. "We didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law," an apologetic President Obama said this month, shortly after millions of Americans got notices from their health insurance companies that their current policies were going to be canceled because...
Blog Post
6/29/2012
By Jamie Court
The finish line has moved forward, but our cause has become even more crucial. You probably know that the Supreme Court upheld vital consumer protections but also ruled that all Californians will have to buy health insurance. Yesterday was also the deadline for county election officials in California to certify that we had enough valid signatures to put our ballot initiative to force health...
Blog Post
5/31/2012
Judy Dugan
Thursday's reports that some Californians will get rebates on their health insurance premiums are a little bit of good news--but not nearly as good as it could be.   An L.A. Times story reports that California small businesses and their employees who are insured by United Health Group will get rebates averaging $98 on last year's premiums because United Health didn't spend at...
Blog Post
5/24/2012
Judy Dugan
Wow. People really don't like insurance companies or their overpaid CEOs. Our news release Wednesday, and a similar message to our mailing list, cheered the pending departure of Blue Shield CEO Bruce Bodaken. We included a rundown of how he treated his customers in the last few years: A rate increase proposal of up to 86% in a year. A corporate stash of $3.2 billion in excessive reserves...
Blog Post
5/23/2012
Jamie Court
The long time CEO of Blue Shield Bruce Bodaken resigned today after a multi-year battle with us over disclosure of his $4.6 million annual salary and unreasonable premium hikes. During his tenure, Bodaken oversaw a health insurance company that has raised rates by tens of millions of dollars while stockpiling $3.2 billion more in “reserves” than the state requires. Blue Shield is...
Blog Post
5/12/2012
Daniel Palay
Next week we will be turning in the signatures for our ballot petition to force health insurance companies to justify their rates and get permission before instituting their rate hikes. Download, sign and return in the mail by the end of the weekend to be part of the signature turn-in or forever hold your peace. This short video preview of the initiative by our friends in Hollywood explains why...
News Release
11/4/2014
Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA - TV stations in a dozen California markets skipped coverage of consumer friendly Propositions 45 and 46, despite the fact that $100 million from insurance companies flooded stations with advertising revenue. The ballot measures hold insurance companies and dangerous doctors they insure accountable. “TV stations have been the beneficiaries of a deceptive ad campaign funded...
News Release
11/3/2014
Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog today warned voters that insurance companies had spent more than $100 million on deceptive advertising opposing pro-consumer Propositions 45 and 46.   “The $100 million campaigns bankrolled by insurance companies against Props 45 and 46 are meant to scare voters against initiatives that will hold insurance companies accountable for excessive...
News Release
10/28/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
San Francisco, CA—Consumer Watchdog, the California Nurses Association and supporters of Yes on Proposition 45 delivered a truckload of steer manure to health insurance industry executives who gathered at the Fairmont Hotel today to fete former Kaiser CEO George Halvorson. “We’re here to return to the health insurance CEOs who have been hiding behind the deceptive $57 million ad...
News Release
10/27/2014
Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog, Consumer Federation of California, the California Nurses Association and price-gouged policyholders condemned menacing health insurance company mailers against Proposition 45 today as a new Hoover Institution Poll puts Proposition 45 ahead by 12 points, 42% to 30% just seven days before the Election. View the poll: http://www.hoover.org/sites/default/...
News Release
10/27/2014
Liza Tucker
SANTA MONICA—Spanish language newspaper La Opinion endorsed Prop 45 over the weekend joining more than a dozen other newspapers supporting Yes on 45 on behalf of six million individuals and small businesses that health insurance companies are price gouging on premiums. “Proposition 45 seeks to expand the power of the California Insurance Commissioner to accept or reject rate hikes...
News Release
10/26/2014
Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA --- Consumer Watchdog Campaign today announced that advertising has begun for Yes on Proposition 45, which would give the elected insurance commissioner power to veto excessive health insurance rates. The David v Goliath campaign has been outspent by insurance companies by more than 25 to 1.   The Yes On Prop 45 advertising exposes the health insurance companies as the...
News Release
10/22/2014
Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
San Diego, CA – Health insurance policyholders joined with bedside nurses from the California Nurses Association and consumer advocates supporting Proposition 45, which prohibits excessive rate increases, to deliver a pickup truck containing a ton of steer manure to Blue Shield’s San Diego offices. The Proposition 45 supporters said they were simply returning some of the same material...
News Release
10/21/2014
Jamie Court & Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA— The Department of Insurance today declared Anthem Blue Cross’s 9.8% rate increase on small business “unreasonable,” but has no power to stop the hikes unless Proposition 45 passes. Proposition 45, which gives the elected insurance commissioner the power to reject excessive rates, is being opposed by $55 million from the insurance industry, including $18....
News Release
10/19/2014
Jamie Court & Mark Reback
Santa Monica, CA -- On Saturday, the three big health insurance companies that control California’s health insurance market gave another $12 million to their campaign to defeat Proposition 45, which will give California the authority to stop health insurance rate overcharges.   The total insurance industry spending against Consumer Watchdog’s Prop 45 now tops $55 million, with...
News Release
10/16/2014
Carmen Balber & John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – The Fresno Bee has endorsed Proposition 45 saying it will rein in health insurance rates and noting “powerful forces are opposed” to the ballot initiative. “These forces — you know them as Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Kaiser, HealthNet and United Healthcare — don't want voters to approve Prop. 45 on the Nov. 4 ballot because it would force...
News Story
11/5/2014
By Amy Taxin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — On the heels of an advertising blitz funded by health insurance companies, California voters on Tuesday tanked a proposal to give the state's insurance commissioner veto authority over health insurance premiums. About 60 percent of voters cast ballots against the plan to give the elected commissioner expanded authority over small group and individual health plans....
News Story
11/5/2014
By Melody Gutierrez & Joe Garofoli, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
SACRAMENTO — Voters overwhelmingly passed the two state ballot measures pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown: A $7.5 billion water bond that will pay for water recycling and new storage systems but do little to bring relief to Californians affected by the drought, and a rainy day fund designed to cushion the state during financial hard times. Prop 1 will pay for water recycling, new storage systems...
News Story
11/5/2014
Op-Ed by Thomas Elias, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS
So much for populism. At least when it comes to fighting the interests of big-money corporations. In every vote this week pitting the interests of ordinary Californians against those of large companies, the corporate interests won big. Big bucks essentially convinced millions to vote against their own best interests. This was an unfettered triumph of the very opposite of populism, defined by the...
News Story
11/4/2014
By Kenny Goldberg, KPBS TV - San Diego, CA
Health insurance premiums have gone up 172 percent since 2002, according to the California HealthCare Foundation. That's what prompted supporters of Proposition 45 to put their measure on today's ballot. The measure would give California's insurance commissioner the authority to reject health insurance premium increases found to be unreasonable. Proposition 45 would also require...
News Story
11/4/2014
By John Howard, CAPITOL WEEKLY
Voters may be apathetic on Election Day, but there are some people in California who are excited indeed about the ballot – those who have a big pocketbook interest in the outcome. Through Tuesday morning, campaign spending on six ballot propositions alone has approached a quarter-billion dollars, a hefty price tag, even in California. Meanwhile, pre-election polls predicted a record low...
News Story
11/3/2014
By Wendell Potter, HUFFINGTON POST
Voters are usually inclined to vote their pocketbooks. But that's become more difficult with every election, as the pocketbooks that carry the most weight aren't those of the individual voter, but corporations and plutocrats. Recent history tells us that the magnitude of big donors' campaign spending rises as their commitment to the public interest shrinks. Mercury Insurance and its...
News Story
11/1/2014
By Michael Hiltzik, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Voters are usually inclined to vote their pocketbooks. But that's become more difficult with every election, as the pocketbooks that carry the most weight aren't those of the individual voter, but corporations and plutocrats. Recent history tells us that the magnitude of big donors' campaign spending rises as their commitment to the public interest shrinks. Mercury Insurance and its...
News Story
10/30/2014
By Caitlin Bronson, INSURANCE BUSINESS AMERICA
It’s certainly one way to get a message across. Angered over what they view as excessive hikes in health insurance rates and the $57 million health insurers have spent to defeat California Proposition 45, members of Consumer Watchdog, the California Nurses Association and supports of Yes on Proposition 45 delivered a truckload of steer manure to health insurance industry executives at the...
News Story
10/30/2014
By Jon Healey, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Would the real Proposition 45 please stand up? One of the main arguments advanced by the commercials aired and the torrent of mailers sent by the No on 45 campaign is that the measure would place healthcare in the hands of a single corruptible politician. "Who do you trust with your health care," a recent mailer asks, "a politician or your doctor? Prop. 45 gives one Sacramento...
News Story
10/30/2014
By Bernard J. Wolfson, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Larry Leisenring, a San Clemente resident, knows something about unwelcome increases in the cost of health care.   ANA VENEGAS , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Prop. 45 support slips Results of three polls released over the past ten days: Field Poll: 30% for, 42% against Public Policy Institute of California: 39% for, 46% against Hoover Institution: 42% for, 30% against...
Video
11/3/2014
Lauren Sivan looks at what Prop 45 will do for consumers if passed, and how the insurance companies are spending tens of millions of dollars to stop it.
Video
10/29/2014
A group of price-gouged policyholders, nurses and consumer advocates descended on the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Monday night with a truck load of steer manure to give back to the CEOs feting Kaiser's chief what they have been shoveling to Californians in their advertising against Prop 45.
Video
10/29/2014
Right now, health insurance companies can charge excessive rates and get away with it. Prop 45 changes all that. Backed by consumer advocates, Prop 45 will require health insurance companies to justify their rate hikes before they take effect. Don't be fooled by the health insurance industry's lies: No state or federal agency can now stop excessive rate hikes in California. Vote Yes on...
Video
10/28/2014
YES on Prop 45: Watch this Doctor SMASH Big Insurance's $55 MILLION propaganda campaign.
Video
10/28/2014
Consumer Watchdog Founder Harvey Rosenfield talks to McIntyre In The Morning about his support for California Proposition 45 which gives the California Insurance Commissioner the authority to approve changes in rates to our now-mandated health insurance.
Video
10/25/2014
Health insurance policyholders joined with bedside nurses from the California Nurses Association and consumer advocates supporting Proposition 45, which prohibits excessive rate increases, to deliver a pickup truck containing a ton of steer manure to Blue Shield’s San Diego offices.
Video
10/22/2014
Michael Finney looks at the campaign for Prop 45 and how it is similar to the fight to pass Prop 103 back in the 80's.
Video
10/13/2014
Blue Shield policyholders joined with bedside nurses from the California Nurses Association, consumer advocates and other supporters of Proposition 45’s rate relief measure to deliver a pickup truck of steer manure to Blue Shield’s offices. The Proposition 45 supporters said they were simply returning some of the same material that the insurance company, which has given $9.5 million...
Video
10/13/2014
Blue Shield policyholders joined with bedside nurses from the California Nurses Association, consumer advocates and other supporters of Proposition 45’s rate relief measure to deliver a pickup truck of steer manure to Blue Shield’s offices. The Proposition 45 supporters said they were simply returning some of the same material that the insurance company, which has given $9.5 million...
Video
10/9/2014
Health insurance regulators review rates, and they may even find them unreasonable. But there is no law to force insurance companies to comply with a regulators recommendations. Proposition 45 would change that.

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