Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Teamsters, Transit Workers, and other Labor Groups Back Prop 45 Campaign To Make Health Insurers Justify Rates

Sacramento, CA - Two powerful labor groups, the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council and the California Conference Board-Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), have joined the growing list of leaders, organizations, and labor groups that support Proposition 45, the health insurance rate regulation initiative. It will be on California's November 4 ballot.

The Teamsters and ATU join many other labor organizations in supporting Prop 45, including AFSCME Local 685 - LA County Deputy Probation Officers, California Federation of Teachers, California Nurses Association, California School Employees Association, Labor United for Universal Healthcare, Northern California Carpenters Union Regional Council, ILWU-Northern California District Council, Orange County Employees Association, United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, and United Teachers Los Angeles.

In addition to the initiative's strong labor support, Prop 45 has been endorsed by the California Democratic Party; statewide leaders such as California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Democratic Candidates Betty Yee for State Controller and Alex Padilla for Secretary of State; and advocacy organizations such as AllCare Alliance, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Congress of California Seniors, California National Organization for Women, Campaign for a Healthy California, Consumer Federation of California, Consumer Watchdog, Courage Campaign, and Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), amongst others.

Proposition 45, the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act, would:
    •    Give the insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive rate increases for individual and small group health insurance.
    •    Require health insurance companies to publicly disclose and justify, under penalty of perjury, proposed rate changes before they take effect.
    •    Make public every document filed by an insurance company to justify a rate increase.
    •    Allow Californians to challenge unjustified premium rate increases.

Health insurance premiums for California families have risen approximately 185% since 2002, more than 5 times the rate of inflation. Today, 35 other states, but not California, already require health insurance companies to get approval for rate increases before they take effect.

"Holding health insurers accountable with respect to rate increases is critical to making health insurance affordable and accessible to Californians," stated PNHP.

 In 1988, voters approved an insurance reform law called Proposition 103 at the ballot. Proposition 103 requires auto, homeowners and other business insurance companies to open their books and publicly justify rate increases. Since then, consumers have saved tens of billions of dollars on their auto insurance premiums. Prop 45 simply applies these same rules to health insurance companies.

Opponents of Proposition 45, mostly health insurers, have already raised more than $28 million for its defeat.

Learn more about Proposition 45 at

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