Recent

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...
Article
7/21/2014
Ron Blasco, Rancho Cucamonga
"I am 57 years old and was going to retire at 60 but I cannot because the cost of my health insurance is so high." I have had Blue Cross Health Insurance since 1997 for my family.  When I started it cost $234 per month and now it is $2386 per month (10 times as much).  I am 57 years old and was going to retire at 60 but I cannot because the cost of my health insurance is so...
Article
7/21/2014
Vickie Collins, Laguna Beach, CA
“After I pay huge monthly premiums Blue Cross redefines the only medication I use so they don’t have to pay.” In January 2014 I received the following information about my individual healthcare plan: "Medical plan premium As of April 1, 2014 the monthly premium on your health benefit plan coverage is changing. Your new premium will be $1764.00, an increase of $266.00 or 17....
Article
7/21/2014
Beverly Khosh, Orange County, CA
“We face ever-increasing health care premiums over which we have no control and eventually may have to discontinue our group coverage all together.” I run a media imaging and hosting business in Orange County. Like many small business owners, we have suffered greatly from the financial collapse of 2008.  While trying to stay afloat and having to greatly reduce our prices to...
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...
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.
Article
7/1/2014
By Rob Leonard
Richard Hammer - Los Angeles, CA   “My total out of pocket expenses for medical care in the past 12 months have been staggering.”   I am currently paying $1,584 per month for a grandfathered Anthem Blue Cross PPO plan. I looked at the options offered by Covered California. To my dismay, I discovered that there was not one plan that would allow me to see all the doctors who...
Article
5/9/2014
By Mark Reback
Marti Conger - Solano County, CA   "I am really struggling. After food and housing and a few necessities my income basically goes to health insurance and health care."   My health insurance premium jumped up 15.6% over the first three months of this year, on top of a 346% increase from 2005 to 2012. At the same time my deductible has jumped from $1,000 in 2005 to $6,000...
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
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 Release
5/8/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA -- The four big health insurance companies that control 94% of customers on California’s health care exchange paid $50,000 for a deceptive study, released today, designed to scare voters away from passing an initiative that will mean big savings for consumers, consumer advocates said today. The initiative will require health insurance companies to open their books and...
News Release
5/6/2014
Chuck Idelson, Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Oakland, CA – At a rally and press conference today, Kaiser nurses and consumer advocates exposed the fact that Kaiser Permanente has accumulated a reserve that is $21.7 billion – 1626 percent – more than required by the state, while cutting patient care services and raising premiums on consumers.   The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, which has 85,...
News Release
4/30/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA – The California medical insurance industry has committed $110 million to three November 2014 ballot initiative campaigns, half of the amount it gave to ballot initiatives during the entire previous decade and over one-third of the industry’s total political giving on California campaigns. The initiative contributions oppose initiatives to regulate health insurance...
News Release
4/23/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA –Health insurance giants Kaiser, Blue Shield, Wellpoint/Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, United Health and the California Association of Health Plans have now given over $25 million of policyholder money, including nearly $12 million this month, to the campaign against a November 2014 ballot measure that will prevent overcharges and misuse of premium dollars.   The...
News Release
3/26/2014
Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA – Health insurance giant WellPoint this week threatened “double-digit plus” rate hikes next year, but won’t get away with unjustified increases if voters approve a California ballot measure to increase health insurance rate transparency and accountability this November, said Consumer Watchdog Campaign.   “Is anyone surprised that WellPoint...
News Release
3/7/2014
Samuel Chu
Santa Monica, CA – California’s largest health insurance companies have hired a Democratic party “insider”, former executive director of the Democratic Party, Kathy Bowler, to try to stop Consumer Watchdog’s November ballot measure to limit excessive health insurance rate hikes, ahead of the March California Democratic Party (CDP) Convention in Los Angeles, and the...
News Release
1/31/2014
Carmen Balber & Mark Reback
Santa Monica, CA – Anthem Blue Cross and its parent company WellPoint have given $12.9 million to defeat a California ballot initiative that would require health insurance companies to get approval for rate hikes, like the increase of up to 25% Anthem proposes for over 306,000 Californians on April 1. If approved on this November’s ballot, the measure will allow the state insurance...
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
7/24/2014
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...
News Story
7/14/2014
By David Siders, SACRAMENTO BEE - CAPITOL ALERT
Following heavy lobbying from both sides, the California Democratic Party’s executive board has voted to endorse Proposition 45, a measure to give the state insurance commissioner regulatory power over health insurance rates. The proposition is one of two causing friction within the Democratic Party, pitting pitting trial lawyers and consumer groups against doctors and hospital groups. In...
News Story
7/8/2014
By Staff Writers, CALIFORNIA HEALTHLINE
About $250 million in planned health insurance premium increases in California during a 15-month period that ended in 2013 were excessive, according to a report released Wednesday by Consumer Watchdog, Reuters reports. Consumer Watchdog is supporting a November ballot initiative that would give the state regulatory authority over health insurance rates. Details of Report For its analysis,...
News Story
7/4/2014
By Kenny Goldberg, KPBS Public Radio San Diego, CA
Click here to listen to the audio of this radio news broadcast.     Covered California officials are raising concerns about Proposition 45, a November ballot measure that would regulate the price of health insurance. The measure would allow the state insurance commissioner to reject health insurance price increases found to be unreasonable. Covered California officials question...
News Story
7/2/2014
By Christopher Cadelago, SACRAMENTO BEE
California’s health insurance exchange, the agency responsible for administering the federal health care law, does not provide official email addresses to members of its governing board. So it became an issue last month when a consumer group requested from the exchange a long list of public records, including any communications between agency officials and health insurance companies....
News Story
7/2/2014
By Sharon Berstein, REUTERS
SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - Californians paid a quarter of a billion dollars in health insurance premiums during a 15-month period ended last year that were deemed excessive by state regulators, a consumer group said Wednesday. Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, which released the figures on Wednesday, is pushing Proposition 45, a ballot initiative that would give regulators the power to...
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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