Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stop rate hikes at the ballot box

Sick and tired of rising health insurance and HMO rates?

Now you can do something about it.

Join me in supporting a ballot measure to rein in excessive health insurance rate hikes. We need your signature to get this ballot measure on the November ballot.

Click here to download and sign the petition.

Health insurers and HMOs are making record profits. Rates have gone up 153% on average since 2002. In May, four health insurers will raise rates yet again -- up to 20% for four million Californians. Just yesterday a couple called my office to complain that their rates will have gone up 65% since the fall of 2010, when their 20% rate increase takes effect on May 1st.

And I have no authority to stop it. None.

Unlike 35 other states, in California there is no authority to reject excessive health insurance and HMO rate increases. As rates have skyrocketed in California over the past few years, two million Californians have lost their coverage.

Health insurers and HMOs have used their influence to block state legislation I sponsored over the last six years to close this loophole, including most recently blocking Assembly Bill 52. Now the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has proposed this ballot measure to give the voters a chance to decide.

The ballot measure will require health insurers and HMOs to publicly justify their rates, and get permission before rate hikes take effect. It needs your signature to reach the November ballot.

Help us put this critical measure on the ballot, what some have called the "missing piece of federal health care reform." This is action we can take now, as we continue to work towards single payer universal health care.

Join me, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and over 500,000 of your fellow Californians who have already signed on to demand that health insurance companies justify their rates.

There are just three weeks to go, and we need another 295,000 signatures to be sure we reach the ballot in November. Can you help us finish the job?

Please click here to download and sign the petition and add your name to the list of Californians demanding health insurance rate reform.

Thank you,
Dave Jones
Insurance Commissioner

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