Recent

News Release
8/19/2014
Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA -- In response to news of Blue Shield's new $2.5 - $8 million luxury skybox at the 49ers' new stadium, Consumer Watchdog sent a letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris asking for an investigation of "Blue Shield's abuse of its non-profit status" and for immediate steps to "block any additional wasteful spending that robs taxpayers and...
News Release
8/14/2014
Carmen Balber & Rob Leonard
SANTA MONICA, CA – Kaiser’s announcement of a 40 percent increase in profits to $2.1 billion for the first half of this year is the latest in a string of hefty health insurer profit reports that illustrate why Proposition 45’s protections against price gouging are desperately needed, said Consumer Watchdog today. Proposition 45 will prohibit excessive profits and require health...
News Release
8/11/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – The report of HealthNet’s $120.9 million second quarter profit, which is 4 times its 2013 second quarter profit, is yet another reminder, amid a slew of massive health insurer profit reports, of the need for Proposition 45’s protections from health insurer profiteering said Consumer Watchdog Campaign today. Proposition 45 will shine a light on health insurer...
Article
8/8/2014
Judy Graff Fisher, Studio City, CA
“We frantically thought through all of our options… this kind of rate increase would send us over the edge.”   I’m an independent contractor, and one of the things I love about what I do is my autonomy and independence. My experience with Anthem Blue Cross jeopardized everything that I had built.  At the beginning of this year I was paying $407 per month on my...
Article
8/7/2014
Linda Raffel, Los Angeles
“I’m getting $196 worth of health insurance for $854.”   I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and now live in the Miracle Mile area. In 2004 I was paying $196 a month for the individual PPO plan that I’ve had for many years. Now, my rate is $854 a month, which means that in the last ten years my premium has more than quadrupled. When I first got the plan I thought...
News Release
8/6/2014
Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – Proposition 45 is projected to bring up to $1 billion per year – $612 per family – in savings to California consumers reeling from years of devastating health care premium increases, according to a new analysis released by Consumer Watchdog today. Click here to read the Prop 45 savings analysis. “Californians are being overcharged hundreds of millions of...
Article
8/5/2014
Josh Libresco, San Rafael, California
“Health care costs are the single largest expense in my family’s budget – larger than our mortgage - even larger than my daughter’s college tuition.” I have a wife and two children. My daughter just finished her freshman year in college; my son is in high school. I have lived in California for most of my life, and have worked in marketing research most of my career...
News Release
8/4/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA – 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...
News Release
7/31/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog Campaign said that the smaller than usual rate hikes announced by Covered California today are good news for consumers and resulted in part from the presence of Proposition 45 on the ballot, which would require health insurance companies to get state approval before raising rates as they must in 35 other states. “California health insurance...
News Release
7/30/2014
Jamie Court, Carmen Balber & Rob Leonard
Santa Monica, CA --- The Proposition 45 campaign today said that WellPoint’s massive $731.1 million second quarter profit underscores the need for Proposition 45’s protections against health insurance price gouging. The profit report comes a day after the California Insurance Commissioner reported steep health insurance rate hikes for Californians in 2014 and expressed frustration...
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
8/19/2014
Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA -- In response to news of Blue Shield's new $2.5 - $8 million luxury skybox at the 49ers' new stadium, Consumer Watchdog sent a letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris asking for an investigation of "Blue Shield's abuse of its non-profit status" and for immediate steps to "block any additional wasteful spending that robs taxpayers and...
News Release
8/14/2014
Carmen Balber & Rob Leonard
SANTA MONICA, CA – Kaiser’s announcement of a 40 percent increase in profits to $2.1 billion for the first half of this year is the latest in a string of hefty health insurer profit reports that illustrate why Proposition 45’s protections against price gouging are desperately needed, said Consumer Watchdog today. Proposition 45 will prohibit excessive profits and require health...
News Release
8/11/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – The report of HealthNet’s $120.9 million second quarter profit, which is 4 times its 2013 second quarter profit, is yet another reminder, amid a slew of massive health insurer profit reports, of the need for Proposition 45’s protections from health insurer profiteering said Consumer Watchdog Campaign today. Proposition 45 will shine a light on health insurer...
News Release
8/6/2014
Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – Proposition 45 is projected to bring up to $1 billion per year – $612 per family – in savings to California consumers reeling from years of devastating health care premium increases, according to a new analysis released by Consumer Watchdog today. Click here to read the Prop 45 savings analysis. “Californians are being overcharged hundreds of millions of...
News Release
8/4/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA – 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...
News Release
7/31/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog Campaign said that the smaller than usual rate hikes announced by Covered California today are good news for consumers and resulted in part from the presence of Proposition 45 on the ballot, which would require health insurance companies to get state approval before raising rates as they must in 35 other states. “California health insurance...
News Release
7/30/2014
Jamie Court, Carmen Balber & Rob Leonard
Santa Monica, CA --- The Proposition 45 campaign today said that WellPoint’s massive $731.1 million second quarter profit underscores the need for Proposition 45’s protections against health insurance price gouging. The profit report comes a day after the California Insurance Commissioner reported steep health insurance rate hikes for Californians in 2014 and expressed frustration...
News Release
7/22/2014
Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
SANTA MONICA, CA – Dolores Huerta, the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, and an icon of the labor and civil rights movements has endorsed Proposition 45, the health insurance rate regulation initiative which will appear on the November 2014 California ballot. Huerta signed the argument in support of Proposition 45 that...
News Release
7/14/2014
Rob Leonard
OAKLAND, CA -- This weekend at their Executive Board meeting, the California Democratic Party voted by unanimous consent to endorse Proposition 45 (the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act).  Proposition 45 requires health insurers to justify and get approval for health insurance rate increases before they go into effect. This endorsement of Proposition 45 by the...
News Release
7/2/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Sacramento, CA -- 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. Consumer Watchdog Campaign, the sponsor of Prop 45, released a new analysis...
News Story
8/1/2014
By Stuart Pfeifer, Chad Terhune, Soumya Karlamangla, LOS ANGELES TIMES
-Negotiations with healthcare providers yield a modest 4.2% increase in Covered California rates for 2015 - We have changed the trend in healthcare costs,' says Covered California head -2015 Obamacare rates for Californians will rise 4.2% on average Defying an industry trend of double-digit rate hikes, California officials said the more than 1.2 million consumers in the state-run Obamacare...
News Story
8/1/2014
By Staff Writers, CALIFORNIA HEALTHLINE
On Thursday, Covered California officials announced that the average premium for health plans offered on the exchange will increase an average of 4.2% for the coming year, the Sacramento Bee reports (Cadelago, Sacramento Bee, 7/31). Covered California is the state's health insurance exchange, created under the Affordable Care Act. The rates will be reviewed by state regulators before being...
News Story
7/31/2014
By Lisa Alferis, KQED - THE STATE OF HEALTH BLOG
Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment (Scroll down). Officials with Covered California, the state’s Obamacare marketplace, say premiums will go up an average 4.2 percent statewide in 2015 for the 1.4 million Californians currently enrolled in insurance through the exchange. Peter Lee, executive director of the agency, was clearly delighted. “This is good...
News Story
7/31/2014
By Christopher Cadelago, SACRAMENTO BEE
California’s health insurance exchange officials announced Thursday that the average premium will increase an average 4.2 percent for the coming year, touting the lower-than-usual figure as evidence that the federal health care overhaul is making coverage affordable for millions of residents. Covered California tentatively chose 10 health insurers to participate in the exchange and will...
News Story
7/29/2014
By Christopher Cadelago, SACRAMENTO BEE
As state insurance commissioner, Dave Jones has the power to regulate rates for car and homeowner insurance. He can halt an insurer’s proposed increase if the company can’t justify the higher cost. Health insurance is another matter. The former Democratic lawmaker has spent years working to give elected commissioners regulatory authority over health insurance rates. He’s asking...
News Story
7/29/2014
By Kathy Robertson, SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL
In a pre-emptive strike against what are expected to be lower-than-expected health plan rates for 2015, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones took to the bully pulpit Tuesday to rail against rate hikes in 2014 as well as rally support for a rate regulation initiative on the November ballot. Average rate increases this year were between 22 and 88 percent, after considering variation for...
News Story
7/29/2014
By Stuart Pfeifer, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Californians paid 22% to 88% more for individual health coverage this year than last, commissioner says The cost of health insurance for individuals skyrocketed this year in California, with some paying almost twice what they did last year, the state's insurance commissioner said. But Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones predicted that insurers will ease up in the coming year to prevent...
News Story
7/24/2014
By Susan Abram, LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS
Nearly 500,000 consumers across California will receive a piece of a $12 million refund from health insurance companies this summer as part of a provision under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday. Called the 80/20 rule or Medical Loss Ratio Rule the provision requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on...
News Story
7/21/2014
By Shannon Barr, SAN DIEGO NEWS ROOM
Campaign funds are rising for those supporting and opposing Proposition 45, the "Insurance Companies Required to Justify Their Rates to the Public Initiative." This proposition allows the insurance commissioner -- currently Dave Jones -- to regulate health care insurance premiums. It will be on the November 4 ballot. As of July 11, $37,303,550 has been raised for the opposing side's...
News Story
7/21/2014
By Jeffrey Young, HUFFINGTON POST
No law has done more to reform health insurance and protect consumers against the industry's most heinous practices than the Affordable Care Act. But Obamacare didn't magically transform insurers into benevolent entities solely devoted to taking care of sick people. Health insurance companies, even those that are not-for-profit, have to collect more money in premiums than they shell out...
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.
Video
7/2/2014
State records show a million Californians shelled out more than $250 million in health insurance premiums over 15 months last year. Daniel Carson reports a proposed ballot initiative would require health insurance companies to justify rate hikes.
Video
4/3/2014
Jamie Court, proponent of the ballot measure and President of Consumer Watchdog, appears on MidDay Sunday to discuss the healthcare initiative and the extension of auto insurance rate regulation to health insurance.   Source: www.myfoxla.com/story/25104359/consumer-watchdog-tony-and-alana-pack-patient-safety-act
Video
11/18/2013
Millions of Californians affected after health insurers cancel their current plans have been given a reprieve. Insurers can now extend plans into 2014 under the affordable care act. California insurance commissioner Dave Jones says insurers demanded provisions before the laws went into effect. Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog has asked Covered California to send out notices that cancellations...
Video
3/7/2013
The California Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, held a press conference to criticize Blue Shield for an unjust rate hike which he is currently powerless to stop. The commissioner went on to remind the audience there is a chance to change that on the 2014 Ballot, which will feature a proposition that will force insurance companies to justify their rates before they can take effect.
Video
12/5/2012
Health insurance companies - including Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, Kaiser, Health Net and United HealthCare - are raising rates by double digits AGAIN. The difference this time is that we can make them pay us back with a refund! Please watch this one minute video and join us in getting a refund of our excessive premium dollars.
Video
5/21/2012
Fed up with the endless rate hikes health insurers in California impose on them, over 800,000 Californians signed the petition to put a proposition on the November ballot that would force health insurers to publicly justify their rate hikes and seek approval from the state insurance commissioner before they can take effect.
Video
5/19/2012
Consumer Watchdog's Harvey Rosenfield and Jamie Court join with other consumer advocates and the State's Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, to turn in the quarter million signatures collected in LA County. These signatures - counting over 800,000 state-wide - will allow voters to decide next November if health insurers should have to publicly justify their rate hikes before they can take...
Video
5/1/2012
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 can...
Video
4/30/2012
Consumer Watchdog's Harvey Rosenfield stops by the Blue Cross headquarters in San Fransisco to discuss and promote a ballot proposition that would force health insurers to publicly justify their rate increases before they could take effect.

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