Recent

News Release
10/20/2014
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
10/17/2014
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 Release
10/16/2014
Liza Tucker
SANTA MONICA, CA – Health Insurer HealthNet has chipped in nearly $5 million to defeat Prop 45 in a sign that the health insurance industry fears rate regulation that a yes vote on the proposition would bring, Consumer Watchdog said today. The insurance pot against Prop 45 now totals $43 million to pay for misleading and deceptive TV ads, radio spots, and “independent” opinion...
News Release
10/14/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
El Segundo, CA -- 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...
Video
10/14/2014
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
10/14/2014
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...
News Release
10/13/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA -- In response to the Associated Press’s disclosure of unusual no-bid contracts between California’s insurance exchange Covered California and well-connected insurance executives, Consumer Watchdog called upon the Attorney General of California to launch an independent investigation of various contracts at the agency with industry insiders. Read the letter here: http...
Article
10/12/2014
Diana Guth, BA, RRT Owner, Home Respiratory Care Sleep Solutions
“Premiums for our company have gone up 37% since 2010, and our yearly health insurance dread just came in for 2015: HMO premiums up 7% and PPO up 9%. We can’t afford this. I don’t know what to do.” Diana Guth, BA, RRT Owner, Home Respiratory Care Sleep Solutions   As a Registered Respiratory Therapist and the owner of Home Respiratory Care (HRC), a home medical...
News Release
10/10/2014
John M. Simpson & Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA – Public challenges to insurance rate requests have saved consumers $3.063 billion on auto, homeowners and medical malpractice policies over the last 12 years, demonstrating the potential savings under Prop 45 which applies the same limits on health insurance rates, Consumer Watchdog said today. Proposition 45 on the November ballot would require health insurance companies...
Video
10/10/2014
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.
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...
Blog Post
5/7/2012
Jamie Court
Two years ago, as federal health reform lay on death’s door, CEO Angela Braly, head of Blue Cross’s parent company Wellpoint, spit on beleaguered patients. She sat through poignant Congressional testimony from customers whose lives were being ruined by spiraling premium hikes, then Braly testified that the public outrage was "a triumph of sound bites over substance." The...
Blog Post
5/1/2012
Carmen Balber
One million Californians will be slammed today with health insurance rate hikes as high as 20%. Consumer Watchdog Campaign has a solution. Watch this short, funny movie trailer about an alternative future with no rate hikes, and share it with your friends. Health insurance price hikes recur more often than Groundhog Day -- Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall. Now there’s something Californians...
Blog Post
4/23/2012
Laurel Kaufer
My name is Laurel Kaufer and I’m a Consumer Watchdog member. I am also one of the one million Californians who will be hit with a health insurance rate hike on May 1st. Are you one of the May Million facing rate hikes of up to 20%? As a self-employed, single mom, I’ve struggled for more than a decade to balance the cost of health care with the need to seek medical help for my family...
News Release
10/20/2014
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
10/17/2014
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 Release
10/16/2014
Liza Tucker
SANTA MONICA, CA – Health Insurer HealthNet has chipped in nearly $5 million to defeat Prop 45 in a sign that the health insurance industry fears rate regulation that a yes vote on the proposition would bring, Consumer Watchdog said today. The insurance pot against Prop 45 now totals $43 million to pay for misleading and deceptive TV ads, radio spots, and “independent” opinion...
News Release
10/14/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
El Segundo, CA -- 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...
News Release
10/13/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA -- In response to the Associated Press’s disclosure of unusual no-bid contracts between California’s insurance exchange Covered California and well-connected insurance executives, Consumer Watchdog called upon the Attorney General of California to launch an independent investigation of various contracts at the agency with industry insiders. Read the letter here: http...
News Release
10/10/2014
John M. Simpson & Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA – Public challenges to insurance rate requests have saved consumers $3.063 billion on auto, homeowners and medical malpractice policies over the last 12 years, demonstrating the potential savings under Prop 45 which applies the same limits on health insurance rates, Consumer Watchdog said today. Proposition 45 on the November ballot would require health insurance companies...
News Release
10/9/2014
Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
San Francisco, CA – Consumer advocates and nurses launched a new “Yes on 45” street art campaign hitting San Francisco and Sacramento this week that exposes the health insurance companies spending $37.5 million to oppose Proposition 45. Thousands of posters will be plastered through wild-posting in the coming days in other cities across the state. The 2 ft. by 3 ft. posters...
News Release
10/3/2014
Harvey Rosenfield & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA -- Proposition 45, the health insurance reform initiative on the November ballot, is following the path taken by the 1988 insurance reform initiative on which it is based, Proposition 103.  The landmark insurance reform overcame $63 million in insurance industry spending and the opposition of the entire California political establishment to pass on November 4, 1988 –...
News Release
10/1/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA --- The Yes On Prop 45 campaign today released its first television advertisement featuring three working registered nurses discussing how their patients’ health care has been compromised by health insurance companies that are raising their rates. The three bed-side registered nurses --- Gina Macalino, R.N., Andrea Seils R.N., Katey Roemer, R.N. – talk about how...
News Release
9/30/2014
Jamie Court, Carmen Balber & Liza Tucker
Santa Monica, CA -- Small businesses in California have seen $250 million in health insurance rate hikes that regulators deemed unreasonable, but were powerless to stop without the rate regulation in Prop 45.  Nonetheless California’s big health insurance companies have begun running a deceptive new television advertisement against Proposition 45’s rate protections that features...
News Story
10/20/2014
By Marc Lifsher, LOS ANGELES TIMES
California insurers have pumped more than $12 million over the last five days into a campaign to defeat Proposition 45, an initiative on the Nov. 4 ballot that would regulate health insurance rates. Blue Shield gave $2.66 million, WellPoint $6 million, Kaiser Permanente $3.73 million and Health Net $350,000, according to late filings at the secretary of state's office. The latest...
News Story
10/19/2014
By Thomas Elias, SANTA MONICA MIRROR
It's almost a foregone conclusion that the Proposition 1 water bond on next month's ballot will pass easily: Every poll shows it with almost a 2-1 lead heading into the vote and the opposition has virtually no money for television commercials. But two other propositions are almost equally deserving of yes votes, Propositions 45 and 48. Proposition 45 is almost a no-brainer. It would place...
News Story
10/18/2014
Editorial, VENTURA COUNTY STAR
Proposition 45 on the Nov. 4 ballot would let California’s elected insurance commissioner reject excessive health insurance rates. The Star’s Editorial Board recommends a yes vote on Proposition 45 to provide responsible, reasonable oversight of the cost of medical coverage. Proposition 45 would apply to roughly 6 million residents who have individual or small group coverage...
News Story
10/18/2014
By Tracy Seipel, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS
Proposition 45 would allow California's elected insurance commissioner to regulate health plan rates for 6 million Californians with individual policies or who get their insurance as employees of small businesses. The No on 45 campaign recently released a 30-second television ad, now running in major media markets. WHAT DOES THE AD SAY? A man and a woman, who say they are owners of a...
News Story
10/17/2014
By Pat Finn, Mark Sauer, KPBS TV San Diego
Props 45, 46 Facing Tough Road Groups opposing California Proposition 45, which provides a mechanism to regulate rate hikes for health insurance, and Prop 46, which seeks to raise the cap on medical malpractice awards established in 1975, have raised millions and are using it on ads. Prop 45 requires health insurance companies to publicly disclose and justify any proposed rate increase. Further,...
News Story
10/16/2014
By Marc Lifsher, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Almost three decades ago, a small band of consumer activists persuaded California voters to slap tough new rate regulations on auto insurance. Now that same group wants to crack down on health insurance rates. And the insurance industry and its business allies are back with a multimillion-dollar war chest to fight Proposition 45 with an omnipresent media campaign. The combination of big money and...
News Story
10/16/2014
By The Fresno Bee Editorial Board
Powerful forces are opposed to Proposition 45, which would give California's publicly elected insurance commissioner the power to reject excessive health insurance rate hikes. These forces — you know them as Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Kaiser, Health Net and United Healthcare — don't want voters to approve Prop. 45 on the Nov. 4 ballot because it would force them to justify...
News Story
10/15/2014
By George Skelton, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Proposition 45, which would allow California's insurance commissioner to regulate rates for certain medical plans, is a close call for this voter. On the one hand, the commissioner would be touching on — although not exactly duplicating — work already performed by the state entity created to administer Obamacare. That could slow down the work of Covered California in managing an...
News Story
10/14/2014
By Staff Writers, CALIFORNIA HEALTHLINE
California's health insurance exchange has awarded $184 million in no-bid contracts, including deals worth millions of dollars to a firm with workers who have strong ties to Covered California's executive director, according to an Associated Press review of contracting records obtained through the state's Public Records Act, AP/U-T San Diego reports. Background Competitive...
News Story
10/14/2014
By Jim Miller, SACRAMENTO BEE
The group backing a health insurance rate-control measure on next month’s ballot called on Attorney General Kamala Harris on Monday to investigate millions of dollars in no-bid contracts by Covered California and reported links between the health exchange’s executives and and the insurance industry. The demand by Consumer Watchdog, a main supporter of Proposition 45, came after The...
Video
10/14/2014
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
10/14/2014
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
10/10/2014
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.
Video
10/9/2014
Consumer advocates and nurses launched a new “Yes on 45” street art campaign hitting San Francisco and Sacramento this week that exposes the health insurance companies spending $37.5 million to oppose Proposition 45. Thousands of posters will be plastered through wild-posting in the coming days in other cities across the state. Michael Finney with KGO TV-7 ABC in San Francisco has the...
Video
10/7/2014
Jamie Court debates the need for Prop 45 Health Insurance rate regulation on KNBC TV-4 Los Angeles.
Video
10/1/2014
The Yes On Prop 45 campaign today released its first television advertisement featuring three working registered nurses discussing how their patients’ health care has been compromised by health insurance companies that are raising their rates.
Video
10/1/2014
View Edit Track Nodequeue Node export Diana Guth and Judy Graff Fisher spoke Wednesday at a news conference organized by Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica-based advocacy organization, to promote Prop 45, a ballot measure that would give the state's insurance commissioner the authority to reject unjustified rate hikes on health insurance. It would affect six million...
Video
9/19/2014
The largest health insurance companies in California have contributed $37 million to defeat Proposition 45. Proposition 45 requires health insurance companies to get permission before raising rates for approximately 6 million individual and small business insurance policyholders. More than 35 other states have the power to reject unreasonable health insurance rates, but no federal or state agency...
Video
9/11/2014
Proposition 45 reached the footsteps of Blue Shield's office in San Francisco. Prop 45 supporters are upset Blue Shield bought a luxury sky box for 49ers games, and they say the nonprofit health insurer should not be spending money on luxury suites.
Video
7/2/2014
Policyholders who faced extreme health insurance premium hikes rallied with nurses from the California Nurses Association, Consumer Watchdog, and other citizens in the state capitol Wednesday to support Proposition 45, which requires health insurance companies to justify and get approval for rate hikes.

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