We Will Qualify - But Not For November
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 insurance companies to justify their rate hikes on the November ballot.
Sadly, the registrars in 58 counties were not able to complete the process in time for this November's election. Their projections, however, will qualify us for the next general election ballot.
We wanted voters to have their say over escalating rate hikes sooner rather than later. We are disappointed. Our qualification campaign collected enough signatures, but finished at the last possible moment. We cut it close, but we simply did not have the resources or volunteer signatures to do it any quicker.
The Supreme Court decision makes it even more critical that we ensure health insurance premiums are affordable since Californians are going to have to buy insurance or be taxed. Californians will have even greater cause to join our campaign. And the eyes of America will be on California to make this work. The future of health care reform depends on making health insurance more transparent, affordable and accountable, now that health insurance is mandatory.
But none of our hard work was in vain. The initiative will go to voters after election officials finish their work. Voters will just have to wait until the next general election, which is in 2014.
The good news is this:
We have more time to organize and gather resources in order to beat the health insurance industry, which will wage a $100 million campaign against us.
When voters approve the measure in 2014, the Insurance Commissioner will have the power to retroactively order refunds for excessive rates going back to November 7, 2012.
With the mandate taking effect in 2014, voters will be even more apt to adopt rate controls.
We are truly grateful for all your support. We will be in touch soon when we learn more and as we take the next steps to give Californians the rate relief they deserve. Click here to read our press release.
For more information on the initiative, or to get involved, please visit our home page.
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